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Boss wanting us to work for free.

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  • Boss wanting us to work for free.

    Our boss has put together a day for free services at my place of business. We are paid hourly plus commission on any sales over our base weekly. Our boss wants us all to come in to work on this day, without pay, to give out these free services. Our boss feels that we need to do this to "give back" to the community, and offer our specialties to anyone who walks in the door for free. We have been told that we can keep any tips given to us on this day. It is my understanding that as long as you are on your employers premises, or performing work in the name of or representing your employer, you must be paid your normal hourly pay. Am I correct???

  • #2

    Many employers organize community service projects that ask employees to volunteer their time to the various charities that need it. Because it is done in the spirit of charity, no money need be paid.

    However, the key word here is voluntary. Even if you volunteered under duress (some of these companies are downright nasty about it), you still volunteered... and therefore don't have to be paid.
    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.


    • #3
      The boss has required us to participate today without pay. These services are not being targeted at, nor are they to the benefit of any charity.This is strictly an advertised, promotional event to try and boost our customer base. These services are available to any person who walks in the door. We were told that we had the option of clocking in. However, we were told that we would not be paid for today. Our pay structure is based upon an HOURLY wage until our sales reach a pre determined level, then we are paid commission on the total amount of our sales. In other words, we are paid the greater of the two (hourly-sales). If we are told that we are to work for free, how can our pay be determined for that week?? How can we be covered by our insurance if we are working for free?? How can our liability be covered if we are working for free??


      • #4
        Is this a non-profit organization? And you're doing the same type of work on your "free" day as you are on work time?
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


        • #5
          no it is not non-profit. Yes we are doing the same work as a normal workday.


          • #6
            Paid for Hours Worked

            If you are a salaried employee, the employer is not obligated to pay anymore than your salary.

            If you are an hourly employee, you should be paid for "all" hours worked and time-and-a-half for hours worked after 40 in a workweek.

            If you want more information about hourly and salaried employees, go to the U.S. Dept. of Labor website:

            Good luck.
            In Solidarity,




            • #7
              Yep, you can't "volunteer" to work for free, assuming you are nonexempt (what unionwayne means when he says "hourly"). If you are exempt (what unionwayne means when he says "salaried") you are not entitled to any additional pay. If you ARE nonexempt, what happens if you refuse to work without pay?
              Last edited by Pattymd; 12-04-2006, 03:33 AM.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


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