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Recently started job, question on OT
Old 07-15-2014, 06:47 PM   #1
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Recently started job, question on OT

I started a job in a call center/customer service division as an hourly employee with hours 9am-6pm which is the hours that customer service is open. My manager wants us to keep our phones open until 6:02pm for any late callers and to take those calls. There are timeS when I will not leave until 6:10, 6:15 or even 6:30pm

I was told that anything up until 15 minutes we will not get paid for, so if I work until 6:15pm, I get no OT and if I work until 6:30pm, I would get 15 minutes.

As an hourly employee, I should be paid for everything after 6pm, correct?

Appreciate any comments.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:59 PM   #2
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I am most familiar with hourly (non-exempt from overtime) employees not getting overtime until the 40 hours a week is exceeded.

The US Department of Labor has local wage and hour offices you can contact to get specific information.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:10 PM   #3
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There should be a time clock to clock in starting and ending times....

If you work to 6:30 you should be paid 30 minutes of overtime.... anything less and they are opening up a lawsuit...
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:55 PM   #4
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:46 PM   #5
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I think federal law requires OT AFTER 40 hours in a work week, not necessarily after 8 hours in a day. Not sure how rounding works to the quarter hour.

I suggest you stay quiet internally so you do not become a target, BUT contact your state Department of Labor if you think there are violations-- you may be able to stay anonymous with your employer. As heyee-joe says "rock the boat-gently"
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:00 PM   #6
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FLSA mandates overtime pay for non-exempt employees when more than 40 hours worked in a week. State law may trump this.
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:47 PM   #7
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Let me update my post a bit.... if you work an extra 30 minutes.... you should be paid for the full 30 minutes.... either regular or over time...


From the OP's post... it seems that the extra work is just 'lost'... they do not get paid for up to 15 minutes of work... correct me if I am wrong...
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:00 AM   #8
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Losing 15 minutes due to some timekeeping rule is called wage theft and it's an illegal employment practice almost everywhere. If you have good relationship with your supervisor you can ask about it. As a new person, you probably do not have that kind of rapport and in a call center environment rocking the boat as a new employee will just about guaranteed get you fired.

Keep good records, see if they just explained their time keeping practice poorly and you are really getting paid properly or not. If not, keep keeping those records and you will have a juicy recovery, likely plus penalties, after you leave.
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:14 AM   #9
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You get paid by the time you worked (based on your timecard). If you work over 40 hours/week , you are entitled to overtime for the hours you worked over 40 hours @ 1.5Xhourly rate.

If you lose 15 minutes each day , that is 1.25 hrs /week or 65 hours O/T a year. O/T is paid @ 1.5 times your hourly wage . So if you get paid $10/Hr in a year you lose $975. That can take care of a lot of Christmas presents for you/your family.

I suggest you talk to your supervisor in a non threatening manner to ensure that he adds that time to your paycheck. If that doesn't help, call the "Dept of labor" in your state to investigate.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:53 AM   #10
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How often does this happen to you? How often do you get shorted time versus paid for the OT? Call centers have a reputation for being pretty chicken s***. You should expect some forms of abuse. The question is how much is this job worth to you? Complaining to a government body is probably going to consume far more of your time than an occasional late call. As pointed out early, it would almost certainly get you fired. They would certainly find another reason than your complaint but you'd be just as fired.

The only time this applied to me was when I was in high school working for McDonalds (back in the late 60s). The franchise I worked at was pretty ruthless in screwing the help. We were required to be standing by the time clock at our appointed time. The shift manager would tell us when to clock in and then when to clock out. People were only checked in when the existing crew was very busy and starting to fall behind.

We were paid to the nearest 15 minutes so we were allowed to clock in 8 minutes after the quarter hour and told to clock out "NOW" at 7 minutes. The obvious goal was to get a free 15 minutes out of us. A favorite form of punishment was to have someone stand by the time clock and not clock in at all during their entire scheduled time. You showed up but didn't get any work time. I quit in about 2 months.

The point of my tale is that there should be a formal policy on time keeping where you work. It's probably designed to give you the shaft. However, it's unlikely that your late call would end exactly at 6:30 so do you get paid in 15 minute or 30 minute blocks? You should be allowed to round up or down depending on the call time.

With a little bit of effort, you should be able to drag out a late call to just past the point where you get paid for the next time increment if you are so inclined. If they are arranging the rules to eliminate you getting any OT for late calls, I can see where you "resolve" any late calls quickly. Does anyone ever get disconnected?
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:32 AM   #11
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DW contacted Department of Labor about not being paid. Simple call, she got back pay and no retaliation. That said how badly do you need the job as there's always a chance you'll get sent away.

I guess the 80-100 hour weeks Megacorp used to expect from us made me a little numb to OT. You couldn't have convinced me of that when I was making $.20 over minimum wage. Best wishes.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:22 AM   #12
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DW contacted Department of Labor about not being paid. Simple call, she got back pay and no retaliation. That said how badly do you need the job as there's always a chance you'll get sent away.

I guess the 80-100 hour weeks Megacorp used to expect from us made me a little numb to OT. You couldn't have convinced me of that when I was making $.20 over minimum wage. Best wishes.
My current position pays OT. This is a first in my professional working life. I work for an almost mega-corp but my function get OT. It amazes me and makes me realize how I was shafted putting in massive amounts of unpaid OT in former positions.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:44 AM   #13
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The OP should check the Dept of Labor's wage and hour website at www.dol.gov/whd/ . The Fact Sheets and FAQs contain a lot of good information, and there is a Fact Sheet specifically for call center employees, and a lot of information on overtime and salary rules.

Edit: I finally found something on timesheet rounding in Fact Sheet 53, which actually deals with Healthcare workers but appears to apply generally. It states,

Quote:
Some employers track employee hours worked in 15 minute increments, and the FLSA allows an employer to round employee time to the nearest quarter hour. However, an employer may violate the FLSA minimum wage and overtime pay requirements if the employer always rounds down. Employee time from 1 to 7 minutes may be rounded down, and thus not counted as hours worked, but employee time from 8 to 14 minutes must be rounded up and counted as a quarter hour of work time. See Regulations 29 CFR 785.48(b).
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:25 AM   #14
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Title 29, Part 785.47 Where records show insubstantial or insignificant periods of time.

In recording working time under the Act, insubstantial or insignificant periods of time beyond the scheduled working hours, which cannot as a practical administrative matter be precisely recorded for payroll purposes, may be disregarded. The courts have held that such trifles are de minimis. ( Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co., 328 U.S. 680 (1946)) This rule applies only where there are uncertain and indefinite periods of time involved of a few seconds or minutes duration, and where the failure to count such time is due to considerations justified by industrial realities. An employer may not arbitrarily fail to count as hours worked any part, however small, of the employee’s fixed or regular working time or practically ascertainable period of time he is regularly required to spend on duties assigned to him. See Glenn L. Martin Nebraska Co. v. Culkin, 197 F. 2d 981, 987 (C.A. 8, 1952), cert. denied, 344 U.S. 866 (1952), rehearing denied, 344 U.S. 888 (1952), holding that working time amounting to $1 of additional compensation a week is "not a trivial matter to a workingman," and was not de minimis; Addison v. Huron Stevedoring Corp., 204 F. 2d 88, 95 (C.A. 2, 1953), cert. denied 346 U.S. 877, holding that "To disregard workweeks for which less than a dollar is due will produce capricious and unfair results." Hawkins v. E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 12 W.H. Cases 448, 27 Labor Cases, para. 69,094 (E.D. Va., 1955), holding that 10 minutes a day is not de minimis.

The regulation follows to say, in effect, any rounding practice must be even handed.

In determining whether or not overtime is due the first step is to accurately account and pay for hours worked. The FLSA standard is 40 hours in a week for time and one half, may states require OT after 8 hours.

Step one is to accurately record your hours of work, both start and stop times.

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Old 07-16-2014, 11:41 AM   #15
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Title 29, Part 785.47 Where records show insubstantial or insignificant periods of time.



In recording working time under the Act, insubstantial or insignificant periods of time beyond the scheduled working hours, which cannot as a practical administrative matter be precisely recorded for payroll purposes, may be disregarded. The courts have held that such trifles are de minimis. ( Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co., 328 U.S. 680 (1946)) This rule applies only where there are uncertain and indefinite periods of time involved of a few seconds or minutes duration, and where the failure to count such time is due to considerations justified by industrial realities. An employer may not arbitrarily fail to count as hours worked any part, however small, of the employee’s fixed or regular working time or practically ascertainable period of time he is regularly required to spend on duties assigned to him. See Glenn L. Martin Nebraska Co. v. Culkin, 197 F. 2d 981, 987 (C.A. 8, 1952), cert. denied, 344 U.S. 866 (1952), rehearing denied, 344 U.S. 888 (1952), holding that working time amounting to $1 of additional compensation a week is "not a trivial matter to a workingman," and was not de minimis; Addison v. Huron Stevedoring Corp., 204 F. 2d 88, 95 (C.A. 2, 1953), cert. denied 346 U.S. 877, holding that "To disregard workweeks for which less than a dollar is due will produce capricious and unfair results." Hawkins v. E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 12 W.H. Cases 448, 27 Labor Cases, para. 69,094 (E.D. Va., 1955), holding that 10 minutes a day is not de minimis.

The regulation follows to say, in effect, any rounding practice must be even handed.

In determining whether or not overtime is due the first step is to accurately account and pay for hours worked. The FLSA standard is 40 hours in a week for time and one half, may states require OT after 8 hours.



Step one is to accurately record your hours of work, both start and stop times.


I've worked in many places that had shift work. People were expected to arrive at least 30 minutes early to transition from one shift to the next. Frequently, people showed up an hour early and the previous shift person would leave early. Officially, someone wasn't "late" unless they weren't there at the official time but then shift change was delayed. This resulted in the shift being relieved leaving late. Retribution for being chronically "on time" was usually brutal with their relief coming right at the offical time and "not understanding" for far longer than necessary. Leaving late from shift work is a lot more painful than showing up a little early.

No overtime pay was ever paid for shift relief. This is buried somewhere in the labor laws.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:47 AM   #16
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2B if you were non-exempt and this employment was within the last 2 years you may be owed back wages. You can also inform DOL WH of the practice if you believe it to be current (impacting others) and they will investigate.
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:06 PM   #17
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2B if you were non-exempt and this employment was within the last 2 years you may be owed back wages. You can also inform DOL WH of the practice if you believe it to be current (impacting others) and they will investigate.
I was frequently in the management chain of the shift workers. This is an industry wide practice that has been going on unchanged for at least the last 40 years (my working life ) and probably far longer. It had occasionally come up from new people on shift work and HR always had a ready answer. If wasn't an accepted practice, I'm sure it would have been jumped on. This is the practice in both union and non-union plants.

Normal shift change is 15 minutes or so. If things are in an upset mode, it could take over 30 minutes. If things are bad enough, supervisors always had the authority to hold over the worker (with OT) to help stabilize things.
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Old 07-16-2014, 05:06 PM   #18
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"frequently in the management chain of the shift workers" doesn't tell me if you were a salaried supervisor or manager.

The fact that this practice has been going on a long time doesn't mean that WH has looked at it.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:18 PM   #19
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Unless for some reason this is a place where you think you want to stay and promote, I'd say start looking for other employment now. Doesn't sound like a good place to work.

Some of my biggest regrets in 41 years of work , was staying too long in a place with a bad fit. I stayed 19 years at "mega-corp" midway through the working years, holding on in vain to make it to 55 for pension w/ medical. Ended up leaving far short of that, in a voluntary lay-off purge with some severance. Looking back, I wasted about half those years staying where I hated it.

Although most of those years , I had far better opportunities for someone without an advanced degree, as compared to the current job market.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:24 PM   #20
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Check on Federal and State laws regarding overtime.

They sound like chiselers to me.
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