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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Default Not Getting Paid for All Hours Worked

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

    I'll just start off by saying I don't like this job, but will have to stick it out until the end of the summer because I need the money. I don't make much at this job, $8.50 per hour, plus commission when I make sales (not often) so it's not enough to file a lawsuit/go to an attorney.

    I work at a gym, there's a kids room in the gym and probably every day the kid's room is open we break the law in terms of ratio. From what I understand, since the parents remain on the premises throughout the child's stay, the legal ratio is 1 adult for every 7 children. But my coworkers and I are often left alone with 14-20 children, including infants. One time there was two coworkers left with 43 children at once, 7 of which were less than a year old. Luckily I only work in the kids room one day a week but it is still an issue.

    Another major issue is I'm not paid properly. The gym opens at 5am, and I have to be there at 4:45 am to set up the computers, check the pool, etc. I don't start getting paid until 5am, even though my manager requires me to be there at 4:45. When I first started doing the opening shifts I would just adjust the hours in the computer so I did get paid for the 15 minutes. But my manager lectured me about it, said I'm not allowed & I'm not supposed to get paid for that time. I talked around to some of my coworkers because I was pretty flabbergasted. And all my coworkers confirmed what he said, my boss doesn't want to pay me even though I am working. It's something all my coworkers deal with.

    I'm not sure what to do. As I said I need the job, otherwise I would've quit months ago. Should I start recording my time accurately? File a complaint with corporate?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Not Getting Paid for All Hours Worked

    Yes, if you are required to be there early to open you need to get paid for it. It matters not what the boss wants. He's got to pay the non-exempt employees for hours they are required to be there.

    You may file a complaint with the state DOLW here:
    or with the fed DOL here:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Default Re: Not Getting Paid for All Hours Worked

    And they will not tell your boss who filed the complaint. They will come in and check to see if people are being paid accurately. You do not need an attorney, and you do not have to quit. If you do not tell your co-workers you have called in such a complaint, it might just get fixed and you get back paid for every bit of the time you are actually required to be on the job. Being paid at least minimum wage for time you have actually worked is federal law and your boss doesn't get to decide whether he wants to pay you or not. As for the children's room, I'd just keep myself out of that situation, let someone who works there all the time take up that grievance.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Not Getting Paid for All Hours Worked

    As to the gym's child care, at least in my state (Texas) there are different (i.e. NO) child to staff ratios if you are NOT deemed a regulated Daycare. For us that means kids can't come more than 2 hours per day to a max of 12 per week. I am not sure whether the law includes parents staying on site but that is our gym's policy even if not state law. In that case, we don't fall under daycare laws or state ratios. We are not audited or reviewed at all as long as we stay under those limits. I don't know your state, but it is possible you are looking at daycare laws and the kids area may not be included in that.

    Your gym would possibly fall under "A “drop-in child care center” provides occasional care for 40 or fewer children between the ages of 12 months and 13 years of age for short periods of time not to exceed six (6) hours in any 24-hour period of time or fifteen (15) hours in any seven (7) day period of time."

    Now is it smart to understaff? No, but I've seen many gyms in our area that do. Mostly because there is no rhyme or reason to how many kids they will have and when. It's hard to track honestly.

    As to being paid the whole time you work, generally there can be a bit of "de minimus" time that doesn't have to be paid for things like "donning and doffing" a uniform or time spent clocking in/out, etc. But it sounds like you should be getting paid from 4:45am on if it generally takes 15 minutes of work to open up the gym. Definitely track your hours worked separately at home from the timeclock so that you have some proof of what you actually worked so that when you file a claim, you have good records. Write it down and date it every time you work.

    From what I have heard there are many fitness gyms that skirt payroll laws (along with other laws), but there are some out there that do what it right....

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