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"Mandatory" conference calls for non-salaried workers? (MA) Massachusetts

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  • "Mandatory" conference calls for non-salaried workers? (MA) Massachusetts

    My job requires that I dial into a "mandatory" conference call once per week for 30 minutes on my day off. I am not a salaried employee and not getting paid during these calls. Is this legal?

  • #2
    Non-exempt employees must be paid for all time/hrs. worked. *Mandatory* conference calls would be considered time worked.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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    • #3
      Are you submitting the time and your time sheets are being altered? Have you asked where the missing time is? And how long has this been going on?
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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      • #4
        It is legal for them to require that you call into the conference. If you are non-exempt, it is not legal for it to be unpaid time.

        Just to clarify.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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        • #5
          Thank you for the quick replies!

          So I guess my next question would be should I contact an attorney about this? Would I actually have a case worth pursuing?

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          • #6
            Start with your employer. Ask them how you are to be paid for that time.

            If they say they will not pay you for it, then you can either go the lawyer route or the easiest is to file a claim with the state DOL for unpaid wages. That's free.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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            • #7
              Just some additional information worth considering:

              As a matter of policy, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”), which enforces the federal minimum wage and overtime laws, does not examine whether all hours of work are paid in non-overtime weeks. In non-overtime weeks, the DOL simply looks at whether the total compensation for a workweek equals or exceeds forty times the minimum wage. See DOL Field Operations Handbook at para. 30b02. In contrast, in weeks where overtime is due, the DOL does not consider the overtime to be fully paid unless all regular-time hours are also paid. See DOL Field Operations Handbook at para. 32j02.

              Thus, going to the DOL might not help if the conference calls occur during weeks where you have not worked more than forty hours.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by patriot1123 View Post
                Just some additional information worth considering:

                As a matter of policy, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”), which enforces the federal minimum wage and overtime laws, does not examine whether all hours of work are paid in non-overtime weeks. In non-overtime weeks, the DOL simply looks at whether the total compensation for a workweek equals or exceeds forty times the minimum wage. See DOL Field Operations Handbook at para. 30b02. In contrast, in weeks where overtime is due, the DOL does not consider the overtime to be fully paid unless all regular-time hours are also paid. See DOL Field Operations Handbook at para. 32j02.

                Thus, going to the DOL might not help if the conference calls occur during weeks where you have not worked more than forty hours.
                But I'll bet the state AG's office would.

                I would never recommend going to the federal DOL if the state DOL (or equivalent) would take the claim.
                I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                • #9
                  Particularly since the MA minimum wage is considerably higher than the Federal.
                  The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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                  • #10
                    I might also add that the Mass AG typically doesn't seek multiple damages, either. Private counsel should be doing that.

                    Phil

                    .
                    This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

                    This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

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