Legal Question in Employment Law in Wisconsin

ot and wages

Can an employer switch you from hourly with overtime to getting paid by the job with no overtime pay. They now pay an average per job. example ( 3 hours of pay even if it takes you 5 hours), 1 hour of ''shop'' time ,and drive time figured out by a GPS system. So if you have 1 hour of drive time and 2 3 hour jobs with 1 hour shop time you get paid for 8 hours on your check even if it took you 10 hours.


Asked on 1/01/09, 4:44 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Matthew MacKelly Attorney at Law

Re: ot and wages

As a follow up, after speaking with one of hour wage-and-hour people,

1. An employer can change the employee's pay at any time and piece rate is an acceptable for of payment.

2. Minimum wage and overtime rules apply regardless of whether you are hourly or "by the job." If the employee actually works (i.e. the amount of time it takes the employee to do the work, not what the employer allows for) less than forty hours - the employer just has to pay at least minimum wage. However, where the employee works over 40 hours - the employer has to pay overtime (possibly at 1.5 or at .5 the regular rate). So, if employee works 50 hours, take the total compensation for that week, divide it by number of hours, get the regular rate. Then for the hours over 40, the ee must be paid the overtime rate.

In your example - where the employee actually works 10 hours, but is paid for 8, the employee must get at least the minimum wage for all hours actually worked throughout that week. Alternatively, there would be an overtime claim where the employee works more than 40 hours over the week but isn't paid the difference.

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Answered on 1/03/09, 3:55 pm


Matthew MacKelly Attorney at Law

Re: ot and wages

I do not personally practice in the wage/hour law area of employment law much and some other lawyers in our office do, so I can definitely help get you in contact with someone in our office. The facts you explain do sound suspicious to me and I would not be surprised if it was a wage-and-hour law violation (for both state and federal law).

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Answered on 1/03/09, 9:58 am

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