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Employment Law/Payroll deductions and overtime regulation

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Question
Ok, I actually have a couple of quick questions. First off, I have been working at a company in TN for eight years. I am an hourly employee who reports to the main office then travels to the job site each week in a company vehicle full of tools (usually a different location every week or so). My company has a policy concerning drive time that is 8.25 an hour versus my regular rate of 16, which my employer states they don't have to pay anything, which seems to be right. They do not compute this time toward the 40hr or overtime pay meaning if I have 40hrs and 5 drive hours no ot is given or calculated using that drive time. So first question is this practice legal? I'm not too concerned with that one just curious. My main questions are about deductions, I've read that no deduction can be made without written consent  or court order. I receive 30 a day per diem (which I sign a form for) and sometimes if the job gets finished early or get put off for some reason they go and deduct the difference in the time scheduled for the job and this isn't every job but not once have I been given nor signed a form authorizing any deduction other then ins etc. they also have made deductions for a red light camara ticket on a job I wasn't even on and was told I won't get that one back. But is the per diem with no signed form giving my authorization to deduct it legal? Several times I've informed my super that deductions like this appear illegal according to flsa law but only once was I reimburse and only a partial one because it was Christmas (they took 120 leaving me 60 dollars for a check. This one is concerning hours worked. Due to the demands of their scheduling and work load assigned plus hours we can work restrictions due to working in schools, there are often times that to get the job done on time me and my coworkers end up having to work through the day without leaving the job site for lunch. We aren't required to but it happens. Now several months ago our operations director started saying "nobody works that long without eating, even though many of us have done just that, and stated they could get in trouble for us not taking the break, he also stated that that hour will be (and has many times) been taken off our hours worked. We use a ph app to clock in and out and they track is with GPS with said phone (company issued) but even though they can verify we never left they take the hour off our time. Is that legal? And lastly five of my coworkers were told not to clock in for four hours while they fixed a screw up of one of the managers at our warehouse and were told it would "be made up to them somehow" they never got paid for the four hours worked even though two of them made a correction on the printed time sheet we sign each Monday. Which I know is illegal. I've lost all trust in them to pay but don't want to lose my job, I have a family to support, but I also don't want to be stolen from anymore. Are these things legal? Help please!!! Thanks in advance for any replies.

Answer
None of the above are legal. You need to call your local department of employment and talk to them about these matters. They will investigate and probably call the company and find out why they are not paying correctly.

Keep good records because you will need them to collect back pay.

Shirley

Employment Law

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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR

Expertise

I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

Experience

30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

Organizations
SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

Education/Credentials
PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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