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Scheduled Hours vs Worked Hours, not being paid for non-scheduled hours

Discussion in 'Wage and Hour, Overtime' started by jacobtucyonk, Mar 16, 2019 at 8:04 PM.

  1. jacobtucyonk

    jacobtucyonk Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello,

    My wife works part time at a zoo in New Jersey (NJ) at $12 per hour (minimum wage in NJ is $8-something per hour).
    She is scheduled for 30 hours per week with work days ending at 5:00pm on the schedule.

    However, she almost always has to work past 5:00pm because of the nature of the work and employees needing to leave together for safety issues working around animals. She is not being paid for the time worked past 5:00pm, even though she clocks out after 5:00pm and her time sheets say she worked extra hours.

    For example:
    Her pay stub says "64 hours worked. 60 scheduled hours. 4 extra hours. 60 hours paid."

    Her paycheck reflects being paid for 60 hours, despite working 64 hours in that pay period. Additionally, the zoo posted something saying "Employees will only be paid for scheduled hours."

    Is this legal? Can the employer not pay employees for some clocked hours? It is my understanding the federal department of labor cannot intervene because she is technically being paid at least minimum wage, even this scenario because 60 hours at $12 per hour is still at or above 64 hours at $7.25 per hour. I am in the process of contacting the NJ department of labor but I wanted to get other advice and thoughts from lawyers, if possible.

    She is afraid to go to HR or payroll for fear of being fired for saying something and is afraid of reporting to the DoL for the same reason. It would make sense to me that the employer either let employees leave at 5:00pm no matter what or pay them for the hours worked past 5:00pm. It is also my understanding that this is happening with the full time employees but I do not know if they are not being paid for overtime, but that is not important for my wife specifically anyway since she is part time and never goes over 40 hours per week.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thank you!
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    Are those hours being compensated in any other way? If the hours are accounted for on the pay stub I would expect to see them accruing somewhere..
     
  3. jacobtucyonk

    jacobtucyonk Law Topic Starter New Member

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    No, she is not veibe paid for the time she works past 5:00pm and the employer posted a notice saying employees will not be paid for unscheduled hours. My wife was not paid for hours clocked past 5:00pm.
     
  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    I understand she isn't being paid, but the extra hours may be accumulating and compensated for another way. She needs to clarify this with her employer.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  5. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    If she is a non-exempt employee and is not getting paid for all hours worked, that is illegal. The Federal DOL will not interfere (it's will not; not can not) but the NJ DOL is an appropriate alternate.

    Why are you making the complaint? Why is your wife not doing it?
     
  6. jacobtucyonk

    jacobtucyonk Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm just doing it. No specific reason really. I haven't made a formal complaint to the NJ DOL yet. I've just asked them questions about the issue anonymously.
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    She is the employee. She will have to make the formal complaint.

    No complaint, no money.
     
  8. jacobtucyonk

    jacobtucyonk Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I never said she wouldn't. I'm just investigating this to help her out. I'm simply asking if anyone knows if there is some sort of law that would allow an employer to not pay for unscheduled work hours.
     
  9. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    No, there is no such law. In fact, the law is just the opposite. An employer must pay an hourly employee for the hours worked, scheduled or not.
     
  10. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    While an employer must pay for all hours worked, she can be disciplined up to and including termination for working hours that she does not have permission to work.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  11. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    Is the zoo a non-profit that allows for volunteers? I wonder if she hasn't signed something that states extra hours are as a volunteer (however, that would be illegal also since employees can't volunteer work in their own position...but to me it would be an easier mistake than to not pay for hours worked....)
     
  12. jacobtucyonk

    jacobtucyonk Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I think the zoo is county-run but she certainly is not volunteering.
     
  13. jacobtucyonk

    jacobtucyonk Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yup, already aware of that.
     
  14. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    Oh I agree, I just wonder if that is how they are trying to justify the non payment of hours (incorrectly I agree).

    You might have her read through here, print it out and take it to HR/payroll: When can employees provide unpaid volunteer services? - Lexology
     

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