Can my employer not pay me for all of the hours that I worked?

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Can my employer not pay me for all of the hours that I worked?

I am working for a property management company doing clean out and prepping for new tenants. I just started the job last week and when I was told to fill out a time card and wrote down a total of 48 hours (6/8 hour days) I was told that since I worked with a co-worker in a team to clean that I would receive half the hours and she would receive half the hours making it 24 hours, not 48. Also that the time spent cleaning in the office was salary and so those hours didn’t count and that my time driving (about an hour a day) would also not be covered so my actually hours paid would be 17 not 48.

Asked on August 11, 2011 Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an employment attorney:

1) An employer must pay you for all hours worked--there are no exceptions. If the employer feels that there's not enough work for two people to clean, then the employer could certainly lay one of you off, schedule less hours for one or both of you, etc.--but for all hours you do work, even if part of a team, you must be paid.

2) For the most part, an employee cannot be both salaried and hourly for the same job. There are limited exceptions where if the employee's main job is salaried, a different, additional role she does may be hourly, but those are limited; generally speaking, it is very difficult to legally pay the same employee on an hourly and salaried basis at the same time. Doing so is usually an illegal attempt to circumvent the requirement to pay for all hours worked.

3)  Driving to/from work is usually not paid--i.e. commuting is usually not paid. But driving during the work day to an offsite location usually is.

You may have a wage and hour claim; it is worth consulting with an attorney. Good luck.


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