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  1. #1

    Angry Employer Violations of Minimum Wage and Overtime Laws

    I am going to try to keep this as brief as possible! I have been employed by a small, family owned business for just a few months. I am a direct care worker in a residential group home for seniors. After reading through the DOL website many times, I believe the owners are violating many wage laws. The majority of their 15-20 employees are paid hourly, but they pay the staff who work overnight shifts differently. First, they classify me as salary, which is not appropriate nor do I meet any of the requirements to be salary and or exempt. When I work an overnight shift, which is 8pm to 9am I am paid $100. That equates to $7.69 per hour. When I work any other shift, I am paid $12 per hour. My normal schedule is 3 overnights plus an additional 8 hour shift in the evening. My gross pay is $396 weekly. Does this violate minimum wage laws as I only make $7.69 for 39 of my 47 (or more) hours per week?

    They do not pay overtime to anyone. The "hourly" employees get a separate check for anything over 40 hours. and it's for their regular pay rate, not an overtime rate.

    They just began paying everyone "on the books" about a month ago. They use a national paycheck processor, and I am curious is that company has any obligation to either inform the owners that they are violating laws, or report them? Before this they had an accountant who simply issued checks, no taxes or anything. Surely they know what they are doing is illegal?

    Should I attempt to resolve this issue by speaking to the owners, or just file a DOL complaint? I am new here, and I am concerned about retaliation, especially since they don't seem to be concerned about violating these laws. Any advice that you can offer will be greatly appreciated! Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Employer in Violation of Many Minimum Wage/Overtime/Classification Laws New York

    Salary is just a means of payment - it doesn't determine whether or not you're an exempt employee.

    If you haven't read this already, this does illustrate things clearly. https://labor.ny.gov/legal/counsel/p...-questions.pdf

    And stand by for the HR folk to respond, too.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3

    Default Re: Employer in Violation of Many Minimum Wage/Overtime/Classification Laws New York

    Thanks for your response! I was already aware of the information you provided in the link, but I appreciate it! I don't meet any of the requirements for being exempt. I am the equivalent to a nurse's aid, have no managerial or administrative responsibilities or input, etc. I am primarily trying to figure out if it's a good idea to broach the subject with the business owners first. I honestly don't know how they will react and I question how no other employee over the past 5 years has brought this to their attention. This is an industry with a high turnover rate so I suspect they've had hundreds of staff.

    Anyway, I do appreciate your time!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Employer in Violation of Many Minimum Wage/Overtime/Classification Laws New York

    It certainly sounds like you're not an exempt employee. But hang around for the experts
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Employer in Violation of Many Minimum Wage/Overtime/Classification Laws New York

    If the owners have been doing this for years they are probably well aware of all the laws they're breaking, and therefore probably won't react positively if you remind them of this. As a result, I recommend you just go straight to the NY DOL and file a claim. The owners will not be allowed to fire you for doing this.

    However, please note that You can't speak for anyone but yourself in this situation. If other employees want their situations investigated, they need to file their own claims.

    The payroll company may not be aware of what the owners are doing, all they know is what the owners are telling them, and that may be quite different from what you're seeing. I don't recommend that you talk to the payroll company at all, for two reasons:

    1. The payroll company is not obliged to do anything about your issues, or even listen to you; and
    2. Telling the payroll company is probably not job-protected, which means you could be fired for doing so, and that would be a legal termination.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Employer in Violation of Many Minimum Wage/Overtime/Classification Laws New York

    Agreed. Past that, if we are tlking federal law only (FLSA), that law is interested in federal MW, the 50% overtime premium, child labor law rules, and very little else. NY state laws are much more pro employee (and not my area of expertise).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Employer in Violation of Many Minimum Wage/Overtime/Classification Laws New York

    Quote Quoting eerelations
    View Post
    If the owners have been doing this for years they are probably well aware of all the laws they're breaking, and therefore probably won't react positively if you remind them of this. As a result, I recommend you just go straight to the NY DOL and file a claim. The owners will not be allowed to fire you for doing this.

    However, please note that You can't speak for anyone but yourself in this situation. If other employees want their situations investigated, they need to file their own claims.

    The payroll company may not be aware of what the owners are doing, all they know is what the owners are telling them, and that may be quite different from what you're seeing. I don't recommend that you talk to the payroll company at all, for two reasons:

    1. The payroll company is not obliged to do anything about your issues, or even listen to you; and
    2. Telling the payroll company is probably not job-protected, which means you could be fired for doing so, and that would be a legal termination.
    It may vary from state to state. I once worked for a large company that did not allow unauthorized overtime. So, if you were unable to get off the phone with a customer and ended up working 15 minutes of overtime, you didn't get paid for it. Someone unknown made a complaint to the DOL in our state and the state investigated the entire company. We all got a check for overtime for the 12 prior months, and from that point on we got overtime pay if we clocked out more than 7 minutes past the hour.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Employer in Violation of Many Minimum Wage/Overtime/Classification Laws New York

    Telling the DOL is protected in every state. Telling the payroll company, not so much.

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