Is it legal to not pay me?

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Is it legal to not pay me?

I work as a mechanic, and yesterday my boss instituted a new policy in which we
technicians need to punch out and work for free on any car that comes back as a
result of a customer complaint or other various reasons. Basically any
‘comeback’, we need to punch out and work for free while correcting the issue. Is
this legal in any way? In Massachusetts.

Asked on May 6, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you are a "non-exempt" worker (typically one who is paid hourly), you must be paid for all time worked. It is illegal for your employer not to do so. While you can face other discipline (up to and including suspension and termination), you cannot be made to perforn the duties of your job without compensation. At this point, you can file a complaint for a wage claim with the MA Department of Labor Standards.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal: if you are hourly employee, you *must* be paid for all hours worked; that is the law (e.g. the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA). Your employer could discripline employees in many ways for customer complaints, such as--
* Terminating them
* Suspending them
* Cutting their hours
* Reducing their pay (as long as it is still minimum wage)
--but cannot force them to work without pay. If the employer does, the employees could contact the department of labor to file a wage and hour complaint.


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