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Company lied to labor and industry Pennsylvania

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  • Company lied to labor and industry Pennsylvania

    Last year I reported my employer to Labor and industry. After the investigation it was decided that I was illegally salaried. I was awarded 6 months of back overtime pay. To figure out my hourly salary my HR department divided my salary by 47.5 hours because they told the labor board that our managers are required to work 45 hours per week. Since that time our new upper management revised our policy manual stating that managers must now work 42.5 hours per day instead of the 40 previously in the policy manual. Is there any way to pursue getting the rest of my pay?

  • #2
    Did you track the real hours worked during the time you were fighting the exemption? I would have thought you would have wanted to so that you could know from your side how many OT hours were owed.

    What we are doing with the move from exempt->nonexempt is looking at the actual hours worked each week, averaging them over a period of time and then dividing the annual salary by that average to get to the new hourly rate. There is no law that the conversion from salaried/exempt to hourly has to use 40 hours per week. However, it should use as close of a standard to reality as possible. While exempt, did you fill out any timesheets or other work hours paperwork (billing to clients perhaps)? If so the employer knew how many hours per weekly and what range of a true hourly rate you were making.

    The employer can always revise the policy of # hours expected from exempts without it affecting prior decisions. Maybe they lowered the #hours rather than increasing the salary -- in effect making each hour a higher wage?

    I think the only way you would win the argument/appeal would be to prove that you worked less than 47.5 hours per week on average such that your hourly rate should have been calculated higher. The question is do you (or they) have the documentation to prove actual hours worked?

    I am a bit surprised the Labor Board didn't require them to pass their calculation/fix for approval and didn't review the time records. Your recourse now is to go back to L&I on appeal if it isn't too late.


    • #3
      I agree with hr for me that your award should be based on actual hours worked or a close estimate. When you filed the initial complaint, did you supply the number of hours worked each week? If must have been over 40 or else it wouldn't result in OT award.


      • #4
        Not the question, but this is one of several reasons why smart employers collect time accounting information for all employees (including so-called Exempt). Past that, wages are most company's major expense and keeping track of not just how many hours but what the time is being spent doing is very useful information for most companies. I worked for a big software company you have all heard of, and not just the salaries were big money, but supporting the employees (desks, computers, fringe benefits and such) were real money. We tracked hours from the CEO on down, so we actually knew what our largely Exempt work force was doing with that time. Because very senior management bought into the importance of good time accounting for all employees, there was no room at all for more junior employees to say "no". Our budgets were more by project then by dept/account, and we had good actual expense by project/dept/account, so we had very good variance reporting.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


        • #5
          agree with DAW...when I worked for a large HR consulting firm we actually had to document by 1/10ths of an hour or 6 minutes what we were doing for which client. That went all the way up as far as I knew since we all billed out time. My brother who was an attorney for a large firm had to bill out at 1/6th hours or 10 minutes.

          If I had a choice for all our employees, I would require exactly what DAW is speaking about..... It sure does make employees more productive!


          • #6
            My company requires everyone other than the CEO and CFO to track their time. Most use a time clock (even off site managers). I could use a electronic timesheet but I punch a clock. That way, when employees complain about punching, I tell them I do the same.

            The electronic timekeeping was very helpful in the lawsuit my company was involved in. We had opposing lawyers upset because the awards were very small. They thought there would be a big payday.


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