Overtime Tricks

by Evil HR Lady on July 16, 2007

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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