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overtime in minnesota

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  • overtime in minnesota

    I recently resigned from a company I had been with for 2 yrs 11 months. Now it seems I am finding that they have not been doing things correctly . . . it has been a written company policy that for any company events (always on weekends) for which we are required to work that no matter how much past 8 hrs we work, we are only paid for 8 hours per day of the company event. Up until the last event (january 06) we were only paid straight time, not overtime (my work week was always at or over 40 hrs). At this last event I worked for 11 hours, and was paid for 8 hours (now finally overtime) because of this company policy. Part of that policy (unwritten, of course) is that meals are provided as part of our reimbursement - in their words, they only pay us for 8 hrs because they provide meals for us during the company events. Am I correct in that they are required to pay anything over 40 hrs as overtime, and that they must pay for all hours worked, and that meals cannot be considered reimbursement? Any help is appreciated!

  • #2
    Assuming that you are a non-exempt employee, you are correct that you must be paid overtime for any time over 40 in a week, and you are correct that you must be paid for all time worked. I am not certain about the meals.
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      There are very limited cirumstances under which employer-provided meals can be considered as part of compensation. And these do not fall into that category. And even if they did, such meals could only be used to meet the minimum wage requirement for regular pay, not for overtime.

      If you choose, you can file a claim for unpaid overtime with the state Dept. of Labor.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies! I sent an email to the company regarding the laws I found regarding the overtime that was not paid and was sent back this:
        _________
        Please read the excerpt from the Employee Manual. It states very clearly what is expected of us, and our employees, at company sponsored events:

        COMPANY SPONSORED EVENTS

        There are times when employees will be required to attend and work at a company sponsored event, including but not limited to consultant training, seminars, and conferences. Employees will be paid for time worked at the event, not to exceed 8 hours at the given event. Travel time to and from the event is not included in the time paid. Mileage reimbursement may be offered depending on the circumstances.

        By signing the policy booklet, you understood the guidelines regarding these events.

        The Fair Labor Standards Act is a guideline for regular overtime, which I've also copied from our manual for you:

        OVERTIME
        Hourly employees will be paid at a rate of 1-½ times their normal pay for all hours worked over 40 hours per week. All overtime must be approved, in advance, by your supervisor.
        ___________

        What I need to know is, is this legal? I also mentioned in the email I sent about meals being part of the pay, to which they did not respond.
        I have also read somewhere that the employee manual is NOT a contract. Please let me know if there is anything I can do or if by signing the employee manual that I effectively screwed myself out of pay.

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        • #5
          You may want to contact the DOL & run it by them.

          I'm GUESSING that the companies stand is that your overtime was not "approved." (golly gee we didn't know you had overtime because you didn't 'approve' it with our supervisor") Again, that's a GUESS. I'm not the company--of course.

          I'm not sure about the meals, either, I'm thinking no. That may be why they didn't respond.

          But before you get too excited, contact the DOL. There may be more to it.

          So far as the employee manual being a contract or not...generally speaking they are not, as the employer can change the terms & conditions at any time for any reason. They often stick a disclaimer in there stating so.

          If it is in the manual, you are (usually) bound to it.
          So far as if a court decides if it is a "contract" or not, they look at the entire situation. THAT, you would want to consult an experienced employment attorney for.
          Keep us posted.

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          • #6
            Thanks, I'll run it by the DOL. If I had known upon signing that the policy was against the labor laws (which of course they did not inform the employees of), I certainly wouldn't have signed it.

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            • #7
              The POLICY doesn't look like it's against labor laws, the PRACTICE is what MAY be, if you are entitled to overtime.

              The policy states that you WILL be paid overtime--WITH approval.

              If you are working but not getting it, then the PRACTICE is where the discrepency is.

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              • #8
                And like someone posted above, it depends if you are "exempt" or not.

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                • #9
                  I did contact the state DOL, who informed me the policy was against federal laws, and gave me the number for the local US DOL. I called, and they contacted the company. The owner of the company refuses to pay any additional wages as her story has now changed from employees being TOLD to work the ENTIRE event to "the responsibilites only included set up, tear down, and specific to the hours worked only for part of the event, and they are free to leave once these responsibilities were completed, and were only INVITED TO ATTEND the rest of the event". Nice. Gets her a lovely little loophole when she words it like that. If only that was what the employees were told. Since it is down to my word against hers and she claims I only worked part of the time, much less than 8 hours at that, my only recourse now is to take it to court. And frankly, not having to deal with her lies any longer is worth more than the pittance I am owed.
                  Thanks again for all your help and support.

                  Comment

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