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Salary to hourly Minnesota

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  • Salary to hourly Minnesota

    I was hired to work for a small manufacturing company in Sept of 2006 doing A/P, Customer Service and during the summer months assembly in the warehouse. I was salaried when I was hired and have been salaried up until today. There are two other girls that work in the office, one of them works in the warehouse during the summer months like me. The other girl never works in the warehouse. Our supervisor just told me and the other girl that everyone was going to hourly as of Monday, May 3rd and that our job titles would be changing so we would have to start punching the time clock. Today this girl and I found out that the other girl in the office that never works out back is staying on salary since she doesn't ever work out back. I would say that the majority of our time is spent doing office work over the course of a year as opposed to working in the warehouse. Is it legal for the company to do this? I don't know if this matters but my supervisor is also friends with the girl that is salaried and they do stuff together outside of work on a regular basis. It seems like my supervisor shows favoritism towards that co-worker as well. I am not the only one who feels this way either. Could this be a case of discrimination?

  • #2
    First of all, "salaried" and "hourly" are just payment methods that legally do not mean much by themselves. Is your issue perhaps overtime? Not all salaried employees are Exempt from overtime and not all hourly employees are eligible for overtime (non-exempt).

    Punching time clocks per se is not a big deal. I have worked for employers where all employees as in all employees from the CEO on down maintained detailed time accounting records (what where you doing and when did you do it).

    Now you mentioned "discrimination". Not all discrimination is illegal. If (for example) your employer discriminated against White Sox fans, that would be perfectly legal, because one's sports team affilication is not legally protected. If instead your employer is discriminating for say a Title VII reason (gender, race, national origin, etc.), then we have a law being broken.

    It is not inherently illegal paying office workers on a salaried basis and factory workers on a hourly basis.

    If this is an overtime issue, then Exempt status is a function of job duties and sometimes industry.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      What your employer has done is perfectly legal, it may seem unfair, but not illegal.

      Personally - I encourage my employees to not discuss their pay with anyone within the company other than an HR rep.
      Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

      I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CatBert View Post
        Personally - I encourage my employees to not discuss their pay with anyone within the company other than an HR rep.
        You might want to watch that; the NLRA says employees have a right to discuss their salaries with other employees.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          The thing about the salary to hourly wage thing is that in the summer our work hours are shortened by one and a half hours per week. We get off early on Fridays. So, that means that since we were put on hourly we either have to take a loss for those hours or come in early to make them up. That does not apply to our co-worker that is being left on salary. Plus, she is a hunter and for a whole week she comes in late (11am) because she is turkey hunting. Since he is remaining on salary she will get paid for those hours whereas if she was hourly she wouldn't.

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          • #6
            That's a shame, but on the basis of what you have posted, no laws have been broken and nothing you have posted suggests illegal discrimination. Favoritism, per se, is not illegal.

            It is always legal to make someone non-exempt, and discrimination is only illegal if it is based in a characteristic protected by law (race, religion, national origin, etc.)
            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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            • #7
              Originally posted by DAW View Post
              ....Not all salaried employees are Exempt from overtime and not all hourly employees are eligible for overtime (non-exempt).
              What does this mean? I thought that if you were hourly, you are classified as non-exempt and eligible for OT.

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              • #8
                Mostly true, but there are certain exempt classifications that can be paid on an hourly basis without having to be paid overtime.

                http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/complian...e_computer.pdf
                http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/complian...ofessional.pdf
                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
                  And honestly...I have found that if an employee is exempt it is easier to simply pay a salary vs. the hourly wage...just my experience though.
                  Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

                  I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I do not remember the exact number of FLSA exceptions which allow Exempt employees to be paid Hourly but it is a big number. Say 50 or so. Patty mentioned some of the duties specific exceptions, but there are a lot more industry specific exceptions. Say Sheepherders. Movie Theater attendants. Mechanics at an Auto Dealer (but not at a garage). Certain long haul truck drivers. Any time one says Exempt, one needs to look up exactly which of the 100 or exceptions (to MW or OT or both) one is talking about, and find out what the rules are for that particular exception.

                    Looking at non-exempt employees only, the rules are:
                    - Keep track of hours worked.
                    - Pay at least minimum wage on a workweek basis.
                    - Pay overtime (hours past 40 in the workweek) where applicable.

                    But there is nothing in the FLSA rules that say that a non-exempt employee must be paid hourly. In fact, FLSA spells out three different methods for paying non-exempt employees on a salaried basis (29 CFR 778.113, the so-called "normal" method, plus Fluctuating Workweek 778.114, plus Belo Plan). Past that, FLSA spells out handling for Piece Work and Commission pay for non-exempt employees.

                    I am including a pointer to the FLSA factsheets. Each factsheet mostly represents a different FLSA exception. Some of them are Exempt and some are not, but each exception has it's own very specific rules. And despite the long list of factsheets, most of the exceptions actually listed in the FLSA do not (yet) have their own factsheet. There is something of tendency for people to pretend that "Exempt" is restricted to the so-called White Collar exceptions only, when in fact the majority of Exempt employees in the country probably fall under different exceptions. Most agricultural workes for example. The following quote is from the Agricultural Employers factsheet:

                    http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs12.pdf

                    Requirements
                    Although exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA, agricultural employees must be paid the federal minimum wage (unless exempt from minimum wage as noted above).
                    Last edited by DAW; 06-22-2010, 06:14 PM.
                    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                    • #11
                      That's why I never became a sheepherder.
                      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
                        That's why I never became a sheepherder.
                        I don't know. Better co-workers then some places I have worked at, I imagine.
                        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

                        Comment

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