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Working 15 Hours for 8 Hours pay!? California California

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  • Working 15 Hours for 8 Hours pay!? California California

    I know this is illeagal, this just can't be right. I started a new job this weekend, I am a caregiver in Calafornia, but as I am not part of the union I don't think the union rules apply. I have been a caregiver for several years now, but this situation just dumbfounds me, the absurdidty! Now let me explain why I haven't left yet, I am not part of the system yet, so really there is no gauarentee that I will be paid for the time I worked, really I have no proof that I was ever there, I don't just walk b/c I really need this money (even just the eight hours on the timecard) I have bills that if they are not paid, I will lose my car ins. for one thing, then it would be really hard finding a new job! It took me almost three months of looking to find this one, I don't want to lose it before my first check! I may need to prove the hours I am really working........ From what I can tell my situation breaks many basic labor laws - I can only imagine what a union rep. would have to say about this:

    I came for my interview in the late afternoon. I was told that I would work three days a week, (my counterpart was in the background on the clock when I started my interview, caring for the gentleman). I would start in the morning, we talked about my duties and the routine, I was told that each week I would get 16 hours on my time card (16 hours divided by 2 gives me two eight hour shifts, I thought to my self). I would stay there during those two days (I thought that was a bit weird), but during the night I would be more likely to hear if the client had a problem (this made since, we shared a bedroom wall, rest of the family lives on a different part of the house, no one could hear him.

    A bit different but okay, wages were excellent, maybe making up for the fack I could stay over? Well, okay in my off hours I could go get dinner, right? I am so stupid.

    As the interview goes on, the son and the other caregiver fix her timecard, then she leaves. (Good, I think to myself this must be when my shift "ends" for the day) As I write this I realize what an ideot I am. Well I got hired. Did my first two days, job duties were a bit different that explained.

    When I came back to the house to start my rotation, a few ground rules were laid.

    1). I was not to leave the house during these two days (gosh, why don't ya say that with a shot-gun in your hands for emphasis!)

    2). While the start time I was told was right, the end time I assumed was wrong, I worked the entire day, almost a double shift! Now the family states that it is done this way, otherwise it would bankrupt the system. This seems a bit fishy to me, I don't think that the state knows that the caregivers are staying longer than eight hours. If I say something, and the family turns on me, I am not sure that there will be any record of me being there.

    Now the one thing I am thinking of doing is sitting down with the family & having my duties outlined, - in writing - and having us all sign it, and state my starting date etc... That is the only way I can think of to get some proof.

    I don't want to make the situation any worse, these people are "reasonable" I want to deal with them calmly and handle this without it getting ugly. But how do I do that? I don't want to start yelling at them about slave labor, okay part of me does. I tried calling the state, this whole thing is funded by them, & I think they would care. But part of me is still hanging on to one thing, if this is so illeagal, why is the other caregiver going along with it? I just can't make heads of this. One time in the past I have brought up a problem with an employeer, let's just say it got ugly, there are leagal procdures under way. This would be a great job if I only had to work eight hours, but to have to stay there the rest of the time - even the time I am asleep I am kind of "on call" it doesn't seem like that is compinsated, since my wages are just the number of hours multiplied by how much the state pays. If I were ment to be there wouldn't that be compinsated? This just seems so weird for me to work 15 hours, stay there during the night & get up and do it again, when the time card says eight.
    CJ3006
    Junior Member
    Last edited by CJ3006; 06-20-2006, 08:22 PM.

  • #2
    This is a somewhat sticky issue. If you are truly a "personal attendant" - that is, you spend no significant amount of time doing anything other than supervising, feeding or dressing the person cared for, they do not have to pay you overtime, and will argue that what you are actually being paid is a salary that equals your houly rate *16 per week. As long as that amount is more than minimum wage for the hours you actually work (and time spent sleeping does not count) they are within their rights to do that.

    Here is the applicable wage order http://www.dir.ca.gov/IWC/IWCArticle15.html

    Section 1 B exempts personal attendants.
    Megan E. Ross, Esq.
    Law Offices of Michael Tracy
    http://www.gotovertime.com

    Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.

    Comment


    • #3
      I got a phamphlet from the county I am in stating basic rules for caregivers. "All time cards are to be filled out accuratly, accounting for all time spent in the clients home." The family is only putting down that I spend eight hours there, I am working almost twice that, at another job I got in trouble for having a time card not show that I spent an extra 15 min in the clients house (different company), they said it was a liability issue. Also, "no purses or personal belongings shoud be brought in to the clients home." I get the impression that the state dosen't do live in care, how could I stay the night & not bring an overnight bag.

      It's not the pay that bothers me, I just can't work such a long day. By midnight I'm dragging. Also the family is very slow to provide all of the papper work that I have come to associate with this line of work: code of conduct, dress code, etc.... We don't even have a work agreement yet. That is going to be the first thing on my list, since I violated the family's dress code last time, I am going to nicely suggest that they provide all of the rules in writing. After all, someone can't expect you to follow rules that they have not told you about, and it is better to get them to sign a doc stating that they will follow said rules. So now I think I am going to try & get as much in writing from them as possible, to protect all involved.

      BTW, a friend calculated out the hourly wage, and it is pretty far below min. wage (about 3/4), some of the time is technically "on call" there is at least 6 hours of solid work through.
      CJ3006
      Junior Member
      Last edited by CJ3006; 06-23-2006, 12:45 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, I can't tell you anything about the state's contract with the family- I haven't seen it, and it's not my field. I can say, though, that you should not work for less than minimum wage. You can report them to the labor board http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/HowToFileWageClaim.htm and maybe let the state know what they are doing.

        They do not have to put the policies in writing- and even if the State requires certain things, it will be very difficult for you to enforce the contract, since you were not part of the contract.
        Megan E. Ross, Esq.
        Law Offices of Michael Tracy
        http://www.gotovertime.com

        Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.

        Comment

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