Doesn't "Salary" mean you get paid the same amount per pay period, whether you work 32hrs or 50hrs?? Recently I noticed my pay stub states "Salary" instead of "Hourly" as I was hired, this change took place right around the time we switched payroll companies. My boss, who calls in payroll, used to ask for my hours (avg. 35 - 50hrs), of which I was always paid for @ $10.00 per hour. One week he hadn't asked for my hours and instead just called in $400 for my "Salary" pay. Unless I work under 40hrs, then my salary pay is adjusted to reflect this. When paychecks arrive he now asks for my hours and has started paying me cash - straight time for any OT/40 hours. Within the first month I questioned him about OT pay, his reply / reaction was to tell me I was part time and should keep my hours under 40 - and he also wanted me to start taking two 15min breaks - daily - off the clock (though there is NO clock) as well as my 1hr lunch break. Well that actually worked, for 1 day! I believe he thinks he's so smart and that he's getting away with / or around some serious Labor issues. And maybe he thinks that I'm so desperate to work that I'll just continue to go along with his charade. But really I see myself holding the wise end of the rope, that he has chosen to put around his neck. And I'm only holding on to it because he is clueless. And this is only one item of contempt, there are others. Did I mention my boss is part owner of the company I work for? And I keep documentation; weekly time sheets, pay records, cash payments, notes, etc...he keeps no time sheets, empty personnel files & has no policies in place. But he does know how to tell / write a fictitious story that will be convincing enough to get himself out of the hole he has dug for himself, more often than not. I've always believed that truth trumps lies, but I also know how easy it is to fall for lies when spoken by a Master! Thank you for allowing me to vent, whew!!
And thank you in advance for any responses. =)
2 Answers from Attorneys
It sounds like your employer has violated all sorts of California labor laws. You should consult with an employment lawyer regarding your situation to determine how to proceed. The good news is that if your employer keeps sloppy records (or no records at all), then it is your employer's duty to show that it is in compliance with the law. The law does not punish employees for an employer's failure to maintain records.
Unfortunately, we encounter many employers like yours, who feel they can flaunt the law because their employees don't know any better or will be too afraid to speak up.
Tuvia Korobkin, Esq.
Eisenberg & Associates
3580 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1260
Los Angeles, CA 90010
I would not worry too much about the change in wording from "hourly" to "salary," though you are technically correct as to the difference. You are being paid hourly, and the wording will change nothing.
I agree that it sounds like your employer is not complying with California's labor laws. If you are underpaid for the hours you work, then you have a claim for back wages that you can pursue either before the Labor Commission or in court.