Does a company’s billing practices affect what employees are paid?

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Does a company’s billing practices affect what employees are paid?

Jobs that my company sends us out on are billed as an 8 hour minimum. In the past if we finished 2 jobs in 8 hours or less, the company charges for 16 hours of our time and pays us for 16 hours. Now they are charging for 16 hours of our time and only paying us for 8 hours. Is this legal?

Asked on December 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

What a company pays its employees does not have to match or relate to what it bills its clients/customers. If you are salaried workers, you need to be paid your daily salary for any days you work, regardless of how many hours you work that day; if you are hourly employees, you need to be paid for all hours worked, including overtime as applicable; if you are independent contractors, you need to be paid as per the terms of the agreement (oral or written) pursuant to which you work. It is irrelevant, for your purposes, what is charged to customers/clients.

It may be that your company is defrauding its clients/customers--for example, it is committing fraud or theft (depending on the exact circumstances) if it bills a client for 16 hours of work based on the claim that 16 hours of work was in fact done, if 16 hours of work were not actually performed. However, that is an issue for those clients/customers, not for you, as long as you are in fact being paid for the work you do.


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