I worked for this firm for three years. When I started working I was paid by the hour then in February 2000 I received a raise and I was told I will be a salary employee and I will not be paid overtime in exchange if I needed to leave early they will not dock me. By September every thing change and I went to work late because I took my grandmother to the hospital due to an emergency. The office manager told me she was going to docked me I was angry and I told her that was illegal and she decided not to dock me. The next I have to run to hospital but I was late only half an hour. The office manager docked me that week. Then in October I was working and I had epileptic attack and i was dock six hour for that day. I have work more than sixty hours of overtime and every time that I wanted to leave an hour early I have to skip lunch to make for that hour I was the only salary employee that it was required to sign in and to make out for my hours. I thought that was illegal. That I was salary not pay for my overtime but the firm has the right to docked me. Also, I was told to leave when I told them about my rights. Can you please help me? I will appreciate.
Employers like to pay employees "on salary," because that way they think they can avoid paying overtime, and depending on the business, that can be a considerable saving. And, employer like the control they have over hourly employees. SO, not unusually, employers will try to pay employees on salary, but then make the same demands on those employees that they do for hourly employees. When employers do this, they are courting trouble. They can't have it both ways.
Actually, the legal presumption is that all employees are hourly employees unless the employer can show that particular employees fall under certain exceptions to the governing law, the Fair Labor Standards Act. Even if the position would otherwise be exempt from overtime and minimum wage requirements, an employer could lose that exemption by treating that employee as hourly, but doing such things as docking an otherwise exempt employee for being late or leaving early.
Further, if an employer does something to stop an employee from asserting his or her rights under FLSA, such as firing that employee, other provisions, which prohibit retaliation, would protect the employee.
An employee can enforce his or her rights by filing a complaint with the Dept of Labor, or going to federal court. The FLSA and New York State equivalents, also provide for attorneys fees, so that employees are able to find private attorneys willing to take the case on a contingent basis.
posted by David M. Lira | Jul 1, 2002 12:16 PM [EST]