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Reducing rate of pay for breaking policy in GA?? Georgia

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  • Reducing rate of pay for breaking policy in GA?? Georgia

    My employer has become a Nazi about cell phone use in our building. I'm a little more mature than the people that are causing the problems so I don't foresee this happening to me, but a new consequence of being caught with a cell phone in the building (even if it's in a woman's purse) will result in being paid minimum wage the entire week of the offense.

    First of all, please tell me this is not legal. Secondly, please tell me it's not legal for an employer to search a female employee's purse for a cell phone.

  • #2
    There is nothing in the law that would prohibit the employer from dropping the wage to minimum as long as the employee has prior knowledge that this is the consequence of violating policy.

    As far as searches are concerned, I'd want to know more about the circumstances involved before I offered an opinion.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

    Comment


    • #3
      My employers are saying that they want us to leave our cell phones in our cars to ensure that we will not have access to them while we are in the building. To make sure we are following policy, they could be doing random purse checks to see of we have our cell phones in them. I don't work in a retail/wholesale location, so it's not like they search us for shoplifting. The search would be to solely catch us with cell phones so they could reduce our pay for the week.

      Like I said earlier, I'm not one of the trouble makers, but I also don't want to leave my $600 iPhone in my car during the hot GA summer months. I leave my purse in a closet where I do not have constant access, so they could just randomly search it without my knowledge. This really bothers me. Not that I have anything to hide, but I just don't feel right about it.

      Comment


      • #4
        If your employer says not to bring cell phones into the work place, then you can't. This is legal.

        Per my reference: The law recognizes that you have a reasonable expectation of privacy at work. For example, your boss can’t search your purse or your wallet unless it’s a condition of employment that you’ve agreed to when hired. They can also check for suspected theft.

        You can hold for other replies.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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        • #5
          If you don't want to leave your iphone in the car, then leave it home. It IS LEGAL for the employer to have a no-cell-phone-in-the-work-place policy and to enforce it. You do not have an inherent right under the law to have your cell phone on you at all times.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

          Comment


          • #6
            Agree. If you can't bring the phone into the bldg. & you don't want to leave it in the car, you can always leave it at home or somewhere else other than work or car.

            Sorry.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

            Comment


            • #7
              The "no cell phones" policy is certainly legal. The "we will pay you only minimum wage if you brass us off" is maybe legal. Let's look at federal law only (FLSA).
              - If you are a non-exempt employee, you must be paid (at least) minimum wage (on a workweek basis) and you must be paid overtime (if applicable). The feds never cared about anything past that point in the first place, so your employer's policy would not excite them.
              - If you are an Exempt employee, it maybe gets interesting. No one is born exempt. The employer chooses to make you Exempt and in exchange for probably no longer paying you overtime, the employer agreed to follow certain rules. This policy may or may not violate the Exempt rules, depending on which classification and other stuff. If for example, you work 40 hours and are paid $7.25/hr ($290) and you are both Exempt and under a Salaried Basis of $455/week rule (common but not universal for Exempt employees), then the company policy violates FLSA. Worse, the employee can argue that the policy means for certain employees that the employer never intended to follow the Salaried Basis rules where applicable. That is not a "sure thing" argument, but one that smart employers do not leave themselves open for.

              Outside of federal law (FLSA) some states have significant labor law of their own. But GA is generally considered to be a "just like fed" state, so likely no help there. GA "common law" is arguably defused by making this policy known before the work is done, although arguably GA case law would have to be checked to make sure that GA common law looks at things that way. (Not a sure thing).
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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              • #8
                There are many employers who disallow personal cell phones while at work. I have several friends who work for the federal government, government contractors and company's that do R & D and all disallow cell phones be brought onto the property. For some that includes the parking lot. Pretend it is 10 years ago and leave it in the car or at home. While they may not be able to search your purse, that isn't the only way they might learn you have it with you. The fact that you have an expensive phone you want to keep with you at all times does not exempt you from your employer's policy.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                • #9
                  Worse, maybe they can search your purse or car. In most states it is legal to say "either 'voluntarily' let us search your car/purse/desk, or you are fired".
                  "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                  Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

                  Comment

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