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I'm new and have a question. Missouri

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  • I'm new and have a question. Missouri

    I hope these aren't questions that have been asked a thousand times and I just didn't find them.

    I work for a company and have been there nearly four years. For the first three and half years, I was salaried. They gave me my annual salary and divided it by the number of weeks in the year. Seemed pretty simple to me. There were alot of times I worked more forty hours a week, alot of times and alot more than forty hours.......sometimes way more than 40. I never recieved a dime for it. I thought it was normal since I was salaried. There were times I worked 2 or three shifts straight. My shift is 12-13 hours three times a week. My personal record, heck, the record for the company, it 42 hours straight. I run a shift in a repair shop for tractor trailers. They didn't ask me to work over, but they didn't stop me either, there was no one else to do it at the time.

    Another thing they do is if your absent, they take a vacation day from you and you get paid the normal amount you recieve. BUT, now your vacation is short, or gone. That doesn't seem right.

    Also, they make me punch a time card every shift. I have been told that if they treat me like an hourly employee, they have to pay me like an hourly employee and I should have been paid for anything over forty hours at time and a half. As it is, I never recieved anything for work over forty hours.

    If we were asked to work an extra day, the salaried office staff recieved 15 dollars an hour. I was fine with that. I figured extra work denoted some sort of compensation especially since it was over my scheduled forty hours.

    Now I am hourly. I make 20 an hour. I worked and extra shift and of course showed all the necessary punches on my timecard as I am now salarly. The paycheck didn't reflect the correct number of hours and instead had a line entitled 'extra'. They subracted the extra days time from the total and paid me 15 per hour. It was 13.2 hours and they paid it at 1.25 to come out around 16.5. I was shorted some money, not much, but the timecard deletetion and resulting pay rate, less money for extra work really made me mad. They don't pay time and a half. I've never heard of anyone at my location getting overtime pay despite the fact they work it all the time.

    Lastly, this shop is in Missouri and is a flat-rate shop. Technicians get paid by a book. Beat the time in the book, still get paid the full time. If you take longer than the book, you only get what the book says. This is not a union shop.

    Sorry this is so very long, alot of thing have been piling up lately and I'm thinking of leaving. Everyone says I should call wage and labour board or something, I don't even know what or who to contact. It does seem like I'm firing a shot as I leave, but if I am truly entitled to something I've earned, I'd like to have it.

    I thank your time in reading this novel I've written.
    We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Socrates.

  • #2

    A good place to start your research.
    “Be not niggardly of what costs thee nothing, as courtesy, counsel, & countenance.”

    --Benjamin Franklin


    • #3
      Thanks for your very quick reply.

      I am a technican and some of the things I've researched thus far made me feel as though I needed a law degree. I actually read that site before I caved in and just typed a question in the search engine. That action brought me to your corner of the internet.

      This seems simple:
      Q. Can an employer require their employees to work more than eight hours a day or more than 40 hours per week?
      A. There are no Missouri laws which restrict the number of hours an employer can require an employee to work. If the employee refuses to work the requested hours, the employer can terminate the employee without violating any laws. If the employee is covered under state or federal overtime law, (if the businesses' gross annual volume sales made or business done is more than $500,000), they are to be paid time and one half for any hours over 40 hours in a workweek.

      Then there's this:

      With the exception of employees described in subsection (2), the overtime requirements of subsection (1) shall not apply to employees who are exempt from federal minimum wage or overtime requirements pursuant to 29 U.S.C.§§ 213(a)-(b).

      I am confused on the exempt, non-exempt classifications. Which am I? Did it change when I became hourly? If anything I've mentioned is only a violation to an hourly employee, it's only happened once and I'm not poking the hornets nest for a one time offense, because I won't let it happen again.

      Again, thanks, I didn't really expect someone to answer me on Sunday morning, it's a refreshing surprise.

      We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Socrates.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Red Lightning View Post

        Again, thanks, I didn't really expect someone to answer me on Sunday morning, it's a refreshing surprise.

        Outside the internet, I have no life.
        “Be not niggardly of what costs thee nothing, as courtesy, counsel, & countenance.”

        --Benjamin Franklin


        • #5
          "Salaried" and "hourly" are just payment methods and do not mean much by themselves. Of much greater importances are whether you are Exempt (someone who has no legal right to paid overtime) or Non-Exempt (someone who must be paid overtime for all hours worked past 40 in the workweek). Any Non-Exempt employee can be paid on either a Hourly or Salaried basis, and any employee can be considered Non-Exempt by their employer. Microsoft could make Bill Gates Non-Exempt if they wanted to.

          Exempt is more complicated. Not all employees can be Exempt and there are many Exempt classifications which often have very specific rules associated with them. Very few employees could legally be paid as Exempt Hourly, and this tends to be very industry specific or profession specific (if possible).

          Your company apparently used to be treating as Exempt Salaried. This implies one of the White Collar exceptions was being used. I cannot tell based on what you have said if this was correct. If not correct, then you have a basis for a possible wage claim against. I will include a pointer to the fact sheet on the White Collar exceptions.

          Just to be clear, even if your employer could legally treat you as Exempt Salaried, there is not legal requirement that they continue to do so. I will say that it is unlikely that you could be legally treated as Exempt Hourly. Unlikely, not impossible. It is not possible to give a hard answer without knowing exactly what your employer's line of work is and exactly what your job duties are. Hint - job duties and job titles are not the same thing. DOL is very clear that job titles are legally meaningless.

          Everything mentioned so far is federal law. You asked about vacation/PTO, which is not federal law, but rather a function of state law and company policy. Federal DOL could not care less what your company does to your vacation/PTO balance. I have not read your company's vacation/PTO policy and your state is not my state. Having said that, reducing vacation/PTO in response to absences is normally legal and common in all states with the possible exception of CA.

          Federal law requires that the employer collect accurate time accounting information for all Non-Exempt employees without exception. Federal law allows employers to require any employees (Non-Exempt or Exempt) to maintain time accounting information. Your state is not my state but there is a 99.99999999% chance that your state is fine with your employer making you collect time accounting information.

          Non-Exempt employees are paid based on actual hours worked. They normally must be paid MW and OT. There are of course thousands of possible exception, some obscure, some not. Paying for actual hours worked, paying for MW, paying for OT (unless legally excepted) is black letter law. Paying for $15/hr vs. $16.50/hr or Saturday bonus or other things may or may not be required but it is not black letter law. You basically need to find something to legally support your claim and file a wage claim. Your employer will say that you are full (of something) and DOL or a court gets to decide whose story they like best. The key at the end of the day is just how smart your employer is. Remember legal requirements are hours worked, MW and OT (unless excepted). Anything past that may be an enforcable agreement, but is not a statutory requirement and is subject to evidentury rules.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


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