Salary vs. Hourly

Two and a half months ago I accepted a position with a company offering me salary vs. hourly. I've been putting in anywhere from 9-11 hours a day, five days a week and was recently told with the upcoming major holiday falling on a Tuesday, the company would shut down on Monday making it a long weekend. I was also told I didn't qualify for the paid holiday or the extra shut down day. This is the 2nd holiday I was not eligible to be paid. I also missed one work day to attend my son's wedding for which I was docked pay. I've never been paid salary so I'm not sure if it's typical for employers to withhold or dock salary employees for holidays, shut down days etc... Even the occasion I missed a day my hours worked still equaled a 40 hour week. It seems my employer has it both ways because I've never been paid any overtime wages. They aren't paying me when there's a day off on the schedule or paying me time and a half when I work overtime. I've only received one full check since I've been there due to all the docking I've received. At this rate I will not be able to make the annual salary amount we agreed upon. Your opinion would be greatly appreciated.

1 answer  |  asked Jun 23, 2006 7:56 PM [EST]  |  applies to Illinois

Answers (1)

Anthony Cameron

First, you position must be analyzed to see whether you meet the specialization, responsibility or supervision elements of an exempt employee. If you don't, then your employer has a problem for having declared you one.

Being salaried a little like being pregnant, you either are or you aren't. If you are salaried, you are to be paid on the down days. It's what makes you different from a wage earner.

This glitch is just going to keep repeating itself so there is no sense waiting for it to run into real money.

You could just file a complaint with the Illinois department of Labor (they are very helpful) but I think you're better off finding a lawyer with a knowledge of employment law to send them a wakeup letter. If they retaliate against you in any way, that is a separate action.

Let's play this out. Their only defense is that you shouldn't have been salaried. That means they owe you some overtime for the last few months. They're not likely to take that approach. They make take the naive approach and say you're salaried BY THE DAY. That dog won't hunt. You will almost certainly win your claim but I think you should first try to resolve it with private counsel. Unless this company's attorney is utterly unfamiliar with employment law, they will relent and there will be no residual bad feelings.

I don't know where Earlville is or I could probably point you to an experienced employemnt lawyer.

Best of Luck,

Anthony B. Cameron
Quincy, IL

posted by Anthony Cameron  |  Jun 24, 2006 4:13 PM [EST]

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