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pay rate reduction as punishment for hourly employees? Alabama

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  • pay rate reduction as punishment for hourly employees? Alabama

    My girlfriends mother recently got a job at a cellular phone refurbishing company. As my gf was telling about the job, she mentioned something I felt was a bit odd. Her mother's first day (today) was marked by her first receipt of a "point" (I know a lot of businesses, especially factory type line work jobs I've seen use these as a system to ensure timely arrival / clocking in / etc, you know, 5 points you're fired etc. however, this is where it struck me weird) You don't get fired after X number of points, no, each point reduces your payrate by $0.10 having been hired on today at $7.50/hr her mistake (she was not late) in the usage of a time clock she had no prior experience using, resulted in a point against her, her hourly pay rate now, $7.40/hr. I'm a salaried worker and I know they can reduce my pay rate if it happens I have excessive absences etc, but how is this applied to hourly workers. This seems to be false pretense in her case especially. They hired her at $7.50/hr, didn't thoroughly explain the usage of their time system, so they save 10 cents an hour? To me this simply isn't just. But how does the law view this, is it just a unscrupulous practice on behalf of her new employers, but still legal? Or, is this an illegal practice that is thrust on these blue collars.

    Thanks,

    robf.

  • #2
    Alabama is pretty weak when it comes to wage and hour laws of its own.

    Generally speaking, employees are required to be notified of a decrease in pay before the hours are worked at the lower rate. The question to be resolved is, whether "if you do (or don't do) XX, your rate going forward will be $.10 less" meets the criteria.

    Do the employees know immediately when they have done (or not done) X?
    When does the rate decrease become effective after X?
    For how long does the decreased rate apply?
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Also, these changes even if otherwise legal cannot reduce pay below minimum wage.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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      • #4
        yeah, thanks. I know alabama has some pretty weal labor laws, to be honest this place pretty much sits at the bottom of the places I've worked. But then when our government here is dropping millions on getting labor here, for toyota, mercedes, and various other corps, I'm sure the complaints of the blue collar workers will be overlooked in favor of the love and friendship the various politicos receive from the corporates. This rant aside;

        I feel it is highly suspect, the actions involving reduction of pay rate for such minor reasons, its preying on the fact that people here need work and have no alternatives often times. Even if legal its a disgusting practice. I mean I understand firing someone, but to modify pay rates at such short notice, seems very open to abuse. I'll ask her for more details on what occurred. Apparently she was also given a talking to because she was "late" where late involves the fact that she was a new hire and had to fill out human resources paperwork for a HR worker who didn't arrive but 10 minutes late herself. Although she'd been waiting on the hr worker since 5:45 Stories like this make me wonder why anyone would work there. silly stuff. Anyhow thanks for the responses.


        robf
        Last edited by robeph; 02-05-2008, 06:52 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by robeph View Post
          Stories like this make me wonder why anyone would work there. silly stuff. Anyhow thanks for the responses.


          robf
          And that's probably why they have (I'll bet) a really high turnover.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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