I’ve been working as an overtime-eligible hourly temp for Company X for about 6 months. Effective Mon. 6/25, I was converted to regular PT employee (non-exempt) status. The problem, Company X timed an the temp-to-perm conversion to occur on Day 3 of the current work week after I’d already put in 17 hours as a temp and had been scheduled to work the rest of the week.

So now I have to submit two timecards — Timecard A goes to the temp agency for 17 hours of regular time on 6/23 and 6/24. Timecard B goes to Company X for 42.5 hours (40 hours regular plus 2.5 hours OT) that reflects 6/25–6/29.

If my temp status had continued all week, my timecard for 6/23–6/29 would show that I worked 7 consecutive days on behalf of Company X for a total of 59.5 hours (40 hours plus 19.5 hours OT).

Instead, Company X says the work hours prior to 6/25 “don’t count”….even though they scheduled me for them! So technically, they can claim that I did not work 7 consecutive days for a total of 59.5 hours….and get by with it. So, by going temp-to-perm on Day 3 of the workweek, I forfeited what would have been 17 hours of OT if I’d just stayed a temp until the beginning of the next pay cycle.

Company X kept pushing me to start on 6/25, leading me to believe it was so I could attend an prescheduled orientation session. Now I can see why they did it — to save money.

Do I have any sort of an employment/labor law case here?

It seems like a pretty dirty trick on the part of your boss. Or it may have been accidental–perhaps the boss that assigned you all the hours wasn’t the person responsible for choosing your start date.

You could file a complaint with the department of labor, but I don’t know if they would bother to take it up. Of course, if you could show that you aren’t the only person they did that to, that would be helpful. On it’s face, it looks tacky but not illegal (and I must remind you that this is lay opinion–I’m not a lawyer).

In all honesty, I think sucking it up and going on with life is the best solution. If they don’t pay out future owed overtime file a complaint.

Life is frequently unfair–looks like it was unfair in your company’s favor this time. Sooner or later it will be unfair in your favor.

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8 thoughts on “Overtime Tricks

  1. Tehre’s an update to my story: After being told by my immediate supervisor, “Sorry, there’s nothing we can do…and by the way, the same thing happened to me,” I decided to skip over a couple of heads and explain my lost OT situation to the Division Controller who ultimately approves all timecards. She did a cost adjustment to compensate me for my OT loss. A separate check will accompany my next paycheck. Folks, the lesson in all this is to stand up for yourself and be persistent. Don’t just sit there and accept company crap because “That’s just the way it is.” More often than not, these things happen because of incompetence, oversight, or administrative/computer errors. In my case, somebody just didn’t stop to consider whether my start date could have any ramifications. Well, it most certainly did!

  2. While I’m inclined to agree that fighting this wouldn’t be worth the effort, My understanding of FLSA (again, not a lawyer) is that all work performed on behalf of a company counts towards hours worked for them in a week, thus the submitter is owed for the 17 hours. Also, if I recall correctly, both companies are responsible for ensuring that it’s paid appropriately, so maybe he or she can take it up with the temp agency.

    Again though, I’d emphasize that it’s probably not worth fighting it if you care at all about alienating your boss.

  3. route66–I’m totally impressed with you. Excellent job.

    Bruce–do you think so? I’ve never encountered this situation in real life and I’m not lawyer. I agree that it was sneaky.

    The Division controller sounds like the kind of person you want to have around, though.

  4. Folks, I’ve got an unfortunate post-script to my last comment. The story did NOT have a happy ending. Although the Division Controller tried to get me the lost OT adjustment, she was ultimately shot down. I just learned this morning that I will NOT be getting an adjustment check. But hey, at least she apologized: “I’m sorry if I misled you.” You know, if I had known all this could happen, I would NEVER have gone perm. But I did it just to qualify for their health insurance and other benefits. Plus, if there’s a layoff, at least I can be eligible for severance. When you’re a temp, you have no buffer from the sudden RIF.

  5. Route66–I’m seriously bummed. Sounds like the company is doing it on purpose.

  6. Agreed Evil one, sneaky at the least. And I’m fairly sure on my FLSA take. I hope I’m right, as I’ve forced my company to pay overtime in a similar situation to one of my employees.

  7. The joke of it is, these large corporations actually hold weeklong conferences where they sit around and brainstorm: “Gee, what can we do to attract/retain quality employees?” Duh. The answer is so ridiculously simple: Don’t treat employees like crap.

    Company X is truly a disappointment to me, and I’ve only been on board for a few weeks. I keep reminding myself that at least I’ve got decent health insurance now.

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