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Commissioned Mechanic made to do "other" duties South Carolina

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  • Commissioned Mechanic made to do "other" duties South Carolina

    I am a commissioned mechanic that was told last week that we are now going to have one hour meetings one day a week and help straighten cars on the front lot one hour a week... non paid. My question is really what law governs the tasks a commissioned employee has to do outside their job duties. I have contacted my HR dept. and was told that since I have an hourly rate (60% of my commissioned rate) I have to do these two things each week. However,... i am only paid my hourly rate (60% of my commissioned rate x number of hours worked) if this number is more than my "turned" hours. (meaning the number of commissioned hours I charged to work on cars during this time) Honestly, I have never been paid my hourly wage because I have always "turned" more hours than I have been there. I look at this as a way for the company to get free hours from us who are performing well. Am I not due pay for this time worked and spent in meetings? I know some may frown on this because you spend much time in meetings, but I don't. you get to go to meetings and I get to get dirty... fair trade eh? Anyhow... any ideas? Thanks a ton !

  • #2
    As long as your gross pay, when divided by your total hours worked (no matter what tasks you are performing) equals at least minimum wage there is no violation of wage and hour law. The employer can require you perform any duties they assign you, unless the duties are unsafe. This includes meetings.

    Do you work for a dealership or an independent garage?
    Last edited by Pattymd; 03-23-2009, 10:20 PM.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      Update Pattymd: You are correct with my term "commissioned"

      Pattymd: I work for a used car company, not a new car dealership. Does working for one or the other change circumstances? I am not upset terribly by helping out the business, it has just really upset a lot of the mechanics due to recent economic times and they feel they are not being utilized properly....morale is pretty low and this is not helping at all. I seem to be the "go to" person for problems and lawfully this is beyond here I am! So if I understand correctly, (let me use the following money figures to explain), if my guarantee rate is $10/hr and my book rate is $17/hr...
      I work 40 hours this week but I turned 50 hours. 17x50= $850. my guarantee pay is only $400.... So as long as I make over the $400 mark.(turned hours) Then I have to go to meetings or do whatever else they want/ask me to do for free. Is that correct? Saying it like that surely doesn't seem right, but I suppose law is law. hehe
      Thanks again Pattymd


      • #4
        The only thing it changes is that your overtime must be paid at 1.5 times your "regular rate of pay" (total gross pay for the workweek divided by all hours worked, not billed, in the week).

        Doesn't change the fact that the employer can require other duties.

        Legally, they could change you to straight hourly and, since that rate is above minimum wage, there would be no violation of wage and hour law. There MIGHT (slight might) be a breach of contract violation if that is what was promised and they don't notify you of a change before the hours are worked. But that would likely need an attorney, not the DOL.

        I understand the morale issue. The economy is tough all over, even for your employer.
        Last edited by Pattymd; 03-25-2009, 04:23 AM.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


        • #5
          Pattymd: Thank you.

          A big thank you. I really do appreciate your time on this. It is disappointing for me to see that this is law, but it is what we have. I know where I stand now and I do thank you much for your time.
          If you ever need a thought on something german and mechanical...(think BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche) I owe you.


          • #6
            Unfortunately for me, in this case, my vehicle is theoretically Japanese. Built here in the US though!
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


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