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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    7

    Default Billable Hours

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Ohio

    I worked for an IT consulting firm/hosted services. I was a help desk support. I resigned, with a 2 weeks notice and everything. Payday is on the 15th of every month, I resigned on April 3rd. I did not receive my final paycheck until the 16th, and the paycheck was only partial. I was told I was paid for "billable hours". We had numerous clients who I did help desk support for, I recorded my time entries on Connectwise, a ticketing system. He takes the time I entered and bills the client. He also uses the time for my paycheck. Now the problem is, I worked over 100 hours in march, and he paid me for 48 "billable" hours. His client is disputing an invoice because it took me x amount of hours to fix a problem when it shouldn't have taken that long.

    My boss was involved in the entire process of what was taking long, he knew it was taking me x amount of hours and kept suggesting new things to try until we finally came to a conclusion. Does he have a right to not pay me for the full 100 hours I worked in march due to a dispute with his client? I still put MY time in to correcting the issue. I believe I deserve to be paid for my time. I do know that when I first started a similar action occured. It took me 7 hours to fix something, he adjusted the hours to 3.5 and paid me for 3.5 hours instead of 7 and thus charged the client only 3.5..I don't recall this being in my contract, I know I cant get back the 3.5 hours from over a year ago, I don't really care about that. I just want to know if it is legal for him to change my hours worked based on how long something "should" take. In my mind, he should charge the client what he feels is correct but the fact is, I worked that amount of time and he still owes me that money.

    I submitted a complaint to the DOL in ohio, I just want to make sure I did the right thing.

    Also to add -- I worked over 60 hours for the client in question. The x amount of hours is 1 incident for them in march, it was a laptop issue that took 20 hours to diagnose. So there is still 40 hours of work done that is completely missing from my paycheck that he "in discussion" with the client.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    16,112

    Default Re: Billable Hours

    You reference a contract. Are you an employee (W-2 at the end of the year) or an IC (1099 at the end of the year)?

    If an employee, are you 100% certain that the document you are talking about is a contract and not an employment agreement? 95% of people who post here thinking that what they signed at the beginning of employment is a contract, are wrong.

    The answer to your question depends on the answers to my questions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Billable Hours

    I am an employee. I am not 100% positive on the contract.

    I got hired in november of 2010 and he didn't feel like doing taxes so made up some bs excuse saying his account accidentally set me as an IC for the first 2 months of my job. After that I got normal payroll + a w-2 this year

    I did have to sign a non-compete clause. Idk if that is specific to one or the other.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    16,112

    Default Re: Billable Hours

    As an employee, you are entitled to be paid for every hour that you work, plus overtime for every hour over 40 in a week. I am making the assumption that you are a non-exempt employee. However, a brief reality check. Under Federal law, you are entitled ONLY to the higher of state or Federal minimum wage. I don't know Ohio's wage and hour laws specifically, but Ohio is one of the weaker states when it comes to employee protection. Not THE weakest, but they're surely in the bottom ten. I honestly don't know whether the Ohio DOL (and that was the right thing to do) will back you to the full regular rate you were generally paid, or only to minimum wage. LawResearcherMissy may know.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Billable Hours

    Well I guess i'll hope for the best! If i lose 18/hr ill be sad, but at least I'll get something back instead of him ripping me off for over 1500$

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Billable Hours

    I do have a question, is there some fine line or something between an exempt vs non-exempt? Was it in the contract I signed that I would be exempt or non-exempt? I do not recall seeing anything on that. I was reading on the difference at http://www.onlinepayrollguide.com/guide/030108.html and it mentions "professionals" are considered exempt. The job does require a degree, but it's a fairly low end job, help desk support, so I don't really know if thats considered "professional" or not..I did mark the professional box on my DOL complaint, so I hope I didnt royally screw myself.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    16,112

    Default Re: Billable Hours

    It is your job duties that determine whether you are exempt or non-exempt. Even assuming that what you signed was actually a contract, nothing you signed determined your exempt status. All employees, without exception, can be considered non-exempt. Only employees whose job duties (not their job title, not any document they signed, not how they are paid or what benefits they received) fall under one of the exemptions defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act can be exempt.

    A help desk support person is almost certainly non-exempt. There is a very, very faint chance IF you meet the pay criteria, that you MIGHT possibly fall under the computer professional exemption, but from what you have told us I think that is very unlikely. And even if you did, you can legally be treated as non-exempt.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Billable Hours

    Thank you so much for your help, you are awesome! I will update this post with results of my DOL in case anyone gets in a similar situation and browses the forums.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Billable Hours

    The state of Ohio just shut me down, since he paid me for 40 hours of work and it equaled more than the 100 hours x minimum wage they consider him paid in full. That is beyond stupid I guess anyone in Ohio can just change my hourly late to minimum wage or not pay me once I hit that threshold. He said I could take him to small claims to try and get the full money he owes me..would this be something I should look into or does it sound like a dead end?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    16,112

    Default Re: Billable Hours

    I was afraid of that. Ohio is not known for being employee-friendly. Federal law will not pursue a wage claim for over minimum wage (rare exceptions apply) and Ohio is known as a Just-Like-Federal state.

    Missy and Mr. K. know the Ohio courts better than I do, so I'll let them assess your chances in small claims.

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