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Salaried Employee Received Hourly Wage Maryland

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  • Salaried Employee Received Hourly Wage Maryland

    I recently worked for a small business as a salaried manager. My salary was $32,100 per year ($617.31 per week). I just received my last paycheck and found that they only paid me for the 37.4 hours that I clocked in for at an hourly wage. Is this legal? My work week generally consisted of 40 hours prior to this instance, but I had left early one day due to slow business and left the business well covered. I'd like to know, legally, can they do that? We have no contract, but my position remained the same through my end date of employment and I was never made aware that this would/could happen...just opened my paycheck and there it was.

  • #2
    "Salary" is merely a pay method. Under FLSA you are either "exempt" or "non-exempt". "Exempt" employees do not qualify for overtime. FLSA defines these classifications based on job duties, not job title.

    http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/screen75.asp

    If by "salary" you mean "exempt", you should receive a full days wages for any day or partial day physically worked. If this is the case and you are properly classified as "exempt", you may have an unpaid wage claim. In MD, I'd suggest starting with Division of Labor and Industry. They should be able to provide guidance on protocol for making an unpaid wage claim.

    http://www.dol.gov/compliance/topics...t-paycheck.htm
    http://www.dllr.state.md.us/labor/wagepay/
    Last edited by robb71; 08-01-2006, 07:35 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Salary Nonexempt in Cali?

      I have a similar situation. The only exception is, I have a contract I signed when I accepted the offer.
      In the contract it states how much I would be paid monthly and the normal work hours of 9am - 5pm. Plus, when we were negotiating my pay we were talking in terms of yearly pay. After I was hired I met w/ the HR manager/ Office Mgr. and she informed me that since I didn't make a certain amount a year that in the state of CA they were required to pay me overtime, so I needed to keep track of my hours. Now me not being from CA thought that was awsome, so I kept track of my hours. I had never worked a Salaried position and also received OT. About a month later, I was told by the CFO that I was an hourly employee and that I was required to take at least a .30 min break for every 6 hours worked. I thought that was odd and that they were really trying to see if I was going to quit. So I just said ok and I will start documenting my lunches when I record my hours. Plus, I looked up what they were telling me. I really found this odd, because I thought I was an salaried employee since my contract didn't state how much I would get paid hourly... it said monthly. WOULDN'T THAT BE MY BASE RATE OF PAY? Plus, there is a twist to this. I found out I was pregnant 2 - 3 months after I was hired. I believe they had an idea that I was, even though I didn't say anything till I was 4 months. So I really think they were trying to see if I would quit. So I didn't say much. I always worked 40+ hours anyway. I just kept an eye on my check. Just recently it was less than 40 hours and I started asking more questions. I mentioned it to the VP of our team. (the one that hired me and drew up the contract) He explained that it was assumed that I was hourly and not salary that is why he put monthly. BOY, did that sound like I was getting the run around or not. Then he suggested I present my questions to the CFO, since he was the one who informed him of CA law and that I was an hourly employee because I only make so much a year. By the way my monthly rate on the contract is $3500 and I work with computers (so I would fall under that computer operator term). I presented the same questions to the CFO and he said he would look into it. I have been really looking into it. So far I have found info from the FLSA that states that an salaried employee is not required to be paid hourly, just because they are non exempt. The CFO said he will have to see how that interacts with CA law. CAN ANYONE HELP ME FIND INFO ON THIS? I know it states something like, if I make less than $27 and some change that I am non exempt or somthing like that since I work with computers. That is the part that is confusing me. Plus, in my contract it states my montly pay and I feel that should be my base pay and should not go less than that just because I make less than $27 and hour when you break down my pay to a hourly rate. Moreover, if it states in my contract that my normal work hours are 9a - 5p. That is a 40 hour week. BUT if they are taking me down to an hourly employee and I am required to take a 30 min break for every 6 hours worked, then I am only getting paid for 37.5 hours a week and since hourly employees do not get paid for their lunches (as stated by the CFO). Then my actualy hourly rate when you break it down would be $21.53. And if I take a normal 1 hour lunch it would be $23.07. Either way I still make less than $27 an hour, but if they are required to reduce me down to an hourly employee and the work hours are 9a -5p as stated in the contract then my hourly rate should be either of the above and not $20.19. I NEED AN HONEST AND INFORMED OPINION. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP?

      Signed, searching and still somewhat confused in CALI.

      Comment


      • #4
        Locomeja, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to wade through that huge block o'text. It's VERY hard to read. Maybe someone else will try. Or you can edit you post to add some paragraphs and white space and make it MUCH easier to read.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

        Comment


        • #5
          robb:
          Thanks for your help. I was an "exempt" employee (sorry, naturally I just call it salaried) so I am in the process now of taking action. The amount is only a little over $100, but I feel that the mere principal of this is way out of wack. I wouldn't open up a can of worms if I felt that it were justified at all, but I believe it is only retaliation for my leaving.

          I did find that if they are changing your wage (decreasing in any way, not increasing) that they must give one week prior notice to doing so. Maybe this helps someone else some?

          Comment


          • #6
            I wasn't aware of a required one week notice in Maryland. And I'm IN Maryland. Can you post a link to that law, please?
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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            • #7
              To locomeja:

              You raised a number of different issues.
              - CA rules requires periodic lunch breaks. Your employer seems to be following the rules. You can find more information here:
              http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_MealPeriods.htm
              - Employees are paid overtime until/unless the employer can successfully pass one of the Exempt classification tests. Federal rules (FLSA) are the normal rules, but CA also has its own stricter rules, particularly for Computer Professionals. An employer is never forced to make an employee Exempt, but rather is only *allowed* to make an employee Exempt if certain conditions are meet. Sometimes it is easier to qualify an employee who works with computers as Exempt under the a different classification (Administrative, Executive, Professional). I would not assume that if you are Exempt that the Computer Professional classification was necessarily used.
              - Salaried vs. hourly is more or less unrelated to the Exempt vs. Non-Exempt classification. It is legally difficult for an employee to be Hourly Exempt. Under CA rules, an Exempt employee using the Computer Professional classification must make something like $45/hr to be paid on a Hourly basis, However, a Non-Exempt employee can be either Hourly or Salaried as long as overtime is paid and it is legally the employer's choice as to which payment method is used.
              - Regarding time accounting, any employer can legally make any employee fully record all hours worked. Any employer can legally make most employees do a lot of things they do not want to do. I have been Exempt most of my working life, and I have almost always had to fully record all hours worked.
              - Your contract may indeed change things, but none of the people on this board has read your contract. You will need to talk directly to a lawyer if you think there is something being violated in your contract.

              I understand that you are paid on an Hourly basis. Are you paid overtime?

              Do you have any specific questions not addressed above?

              -----

              Also, for future reference, Patty is right that your question was very hard to read. I had to copy it into a Word document and reformat to understand what you were saying. Also, in the future please start a new thread when you have a question. We now have answers to two different questions crossing each other which makes it very difficult to read.

              Thank you.
              Last edited by DAW; 08-02-2006, 07:03 AM.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

              Comment


              • #8
                Pattymd:
                Hope this link helps...I should clarify thought that it is one full pay period notice, not one week. My mistake.
                On that note, could you advise me on this issue?

                http://www.dllr.state.md.us/labor/wa...hangeofpay.htm

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the link. We're all union here and it's like pulling teeth just to discipline employees, let alone demote them or cut their pay, and I haven't been in Maryland that long.

                  I think I mentioned before that you should contact the Dept. of Labor. Rumor (and the news) has it that they aren't taking claims currently because their funding was cut. However, they may have some other options for you, including filing with the federal Dept. of Labor or in small claims court.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lost time

                    No problem, patty, hope you find what you need.

                    As for this issue, I did find an article stating that an exempt employee does not require full pay for the initial or terminal week of employment. So for your FIRST WEEK and LAST WEEK of employment as an exempt employee, your company does not have to pay you your "salaried wages," so if you work less than your required amount of time, they can break your pay into hourly increments and pay you accordingly.

                    So, this is just an FYI...hopefully will help someone out if they should need it!
                    This link below describes exempt employees and what can/cannot be deducted/changed regarding their pay.

                    Had I known this, I would have made sure to record my time 100%. See, as most "exempt" or "salaried" individuals do, I never worried that I should "clock-in" as soon as I got to work or never gave it a second thought to take the paperwork home and complete there without recording my hours spent.
                    Shame on me...

                    http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...CFR541.118.htm

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I did read the link you provide. My understanding of that section is that your final pay may be prorated based on the number of days (not hourw) worked. For example, if you normally recieve a $1000 pay for 5 days worked and on your terminating week you only work 3 days, your pay would be prorated ($1000/5 * 3 = $600) to $600. It doesn't matter that you may not have worked your entire shift on those 3 days.

                      Pattymd, do you agree?
                      Last edited by robb71; 08-03-2006, 02:46 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I knew that, of course, and yes, I agree.
                        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by robb71
                          I did read the link you provide. My understanding of that section is that your final pay may be prorated based on the number of days (not hourw) worked. For example, if you normally recieve a $1000 pay for 5 days worked and on your terminating week you only work 3 days, your pay would be prorated ($1000/5 * 3 = $600) to $600. It doesn't matter that you may not have worked your entire shift on those 3 days.

                          Pattymd, do you agree?
                          29 CFR 541.118 was replaced by 29 CFR 541.602 in 2004, part of the so-called "Fair Pay" revisions. The newer revision allows hourly pro-rating for initial/terminal paychecks for Salaried Exempt employees.

                          http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/complian...ions_final.htm
                          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for reminding us, DAW, I had forgotten all about that. Dumb DOL can't update the FLSA regs on it's own website.
                            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                            Comment

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