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#156704 - 06/07/05 02:19 AM Overtime and expenses question
spygrrl Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/19/04
Posts: 1
Loc: Chicago, IL
Hello there - I've lurked on and off for the last 6 months, but this is my first post.

I am the admin for a very small electrical contractor. We're just a start-up and though I've experience running a business office, this is my first time in the trades, and I'm lacking some industry specific knowledge.

A large remodeler with whom we have a contract called us on a Saturday; his client was having a problem with stuff not working. We had just been in the day before so figured someone goofed up somewhere.

We sent one of our employees in to fix it. It turned out to be a no-brainer - this homeowner apparently fancies himself a bit of electrician (according to the guys, has pipe benders, etc. of his own). Well, he must've been playing around with some things and forgot what he was doing - because the darn breaker was switched off! (At least it wasn't an error on our part)

We have been working on a policy of OT calculated on a weekly basis (vs. daily basis). That is, we pay OT after 40 hrs per week - not after 8 hrs per day. Our payroll period runs Sat - Fri. This allows us to give our guys some flexibility re: making up missed hours, especially since all but one have kids.

Unfortunately, this past Monday everyone was off for the holiday, so this employee has less than 40 hrs for the period. (We are too new and too broke to offer paid holidays - yet)

Question # 1: Now, since he was pulled in on a Saturday, is he automatically entitled to OT pay even though he is not over 40 hrs per week?

Also, our mileage policy is you eat whatever it takes to your first job of the day (within reason). After that, if we send you somewhere else, mileage is logged and reimbursed. Mileage to your home, from wherever, is also your responsibility.

Ques # 2: Since this wasn't a regularly scheduled workday, I would think we should pay him mileage. Do we pay for only one way or both ways?

I do not want to cheat this employee and I tend to prefer that we pay him OT and mileage both ways. However, even though I think my boss would agree with me, I need to know legally what we are required to do - in case my boss disagrees I'd like to be able to quote chapter and verse. Also, I'd like to put the correct info into the employee handbook that I'm woefully behind in creating. (I like my guys to be properly informed as to their rights, first of all; plus, if we do better than the minimum required by law, I'd like them to know that)

Ques # 3 - any Illinois based folks here who could point me to where I might find relevant resource material on the web? I know I should be able to find the statutes somewhere on/in/near the Dept of Labor area of the State of IL website but if you can provide a link or addy that would be quite helpful.

Thanks very much for any and all help,
M

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Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
#156705 - 06/07/05 03:24 AM Re: Overtime and expenses question
tkb Offline
Member

Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 94
Loc: Massachusetts
You should pay the OT and mileage to the employee and then charge the customer accordingly.

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#156706 - 06/07/05 05:20 AM Re: Overtime and expenses question
dmattox Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 267
Loc: Anaheim, CA
While technically I don't think you a required to pay, I would pay it anyways. An employer trying to skimp on OT just causes problems.

Besides, I feel people don't look at OT in the full picture. If someone works a Saturday, then they have 48 hours for that week, that would then be 52 hours of pay. That’s only an 8% increase in pay for the whole week, yet everyone seems to fret about OT so much.

Assume you have an employee that works 5 full OT days a year. That would only be a 0.09% increase in pay (2140 OT hours/2120 normal hours).

Your employee went in and did the work needed, but might not get rewarded due to a technicality? That can just generate ill will without affecting the bottom line.


[This message has been edited by dmattox (edited 06-07-2005).]

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#156707 - 06/07/05 10:40 AM Re: Overtime and expenses question
Active 1 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 684
Loc: Grayslake IL, USA
First I'd like to say welcome to another person from pipetown.

Here is the page your looking for: http://www.state.il.us/agency/idol/faq/qamwot.htm

"You are entitled to pay at time and one half your regular rate of pay if you worked over 40 hours in a workweek. You will need to ask your employer for their definition of a workweek."

"Does my employer have to pay me time and one half or double time for working a legal holiday or a Sunday?

No. If working the legal holiday or Sunday puts you over 40 hours in a workweek, then your employer must pay you at time and one half of your regular rate of pay for those hours over 40. However, if your employer’s policy allows for payment of time and one half or double time, then the employer must honor the agreement."

I remember working for places in the past that did not count holidays, vacation, sick, or training twords your work week hours. I thought it was a way to cut my pay check.

You should make a decision and keep it as part of your policy along with how many paid days off, which ones, and what if the holiday is on a Sunday.

Tom

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#156708 - 06/07/05 08:20 PM Re: Overtime and expenses question
Jps1006 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 609
Loc: Northern IL
spygrrl,

I respect your dilligance (sorry too late to check spelling) and it sounds like you want to be fair, which I would imagine if your guys get face time with you, they should pick up it. It sounds like you're pretty good to them.

I understand the law as Tom posted, only if over 40. You decide what is best for this case. Best case is to take care of your guy and pay the OT and extra milage if you can pass it on to the customer. If not, let the guy suck it up, we all have to sometimes. But the best thing you can do is what it sounds like you are doing, which is get a policy and make it known. Just as it is easier for the customer to pay the bill when they know what to expect, it is also easier for the employee when they know what to expect. Nothing worse than working for an employer that mak it up they go along and alway seem to slant things in their favor. Now if you establish policy that slants in your favor, the employees are free to leave, all in all it is still fair.

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#156709 - 06/07/05 11:18 PM Re: Overtime and expenses question
tx2step Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 4
Loc: DFW, Texas
Spygrrl,

"We have been working on a policy of OT calculated on a weekly basis (vs. daily basis). That is, we pay OT after 40 hrs per week - not after 8 hrs per day. Our payroll period runs Sat - Fri. This allows us to give our guys some flexibility re: making up missed hours, especially since all but one have kids."

This sounds backwards to me. We established a pay period starting on Monday and ending on Sunday, for this very same reason. That way, if a guy missed some hours during the regular work-week, he could make it up over that weekend and still make his 40 hours. If he had already worked 40 hours by Friday, then any work done over the weekend was at OT. On monday morning, the weekly hour-counter resets to zero and starts over again.


"Question # 1: Now, since he was pulled in on a Saturday, is he automatically entitled to OT pay even though he is not over 40 hrs per week?"

Acording to your policy, on Saturday he started on a new work week -- it was the first day of that new week. So no, he wouldn't get OT automatically. That will have to be a judgement call on your part. However, if you do it for one, you should do it for all. Playing favorites will get you into trouble. You may want to find another way to reward him.

"Also, our mileage policy is you eat whatever it takes to your first job of the day (within reason). After that, if we send you somewhere else, mileage is logged and reimbursed. Mileage to your home, from wherever, is also your responsibility."

Several years ago, here in Texas, we received a DOL decision that said if an hourly employee drove a company truck home, then his time started when he got into the truck that morning (at his house) and ended when he got out of the truck in the evening (also at his house). That caused us to either keep our trucks in our yard and have the guys come in and start their time in our yard, or in many cases on construction jobs, we paid the foreman a monthly truck-allowance and let him use his own truck. Then his time started when he arrived on the jobsite.

Maybe that law has been changed, or maybe that DOL decision only applied in Texas, but you need to find out. We had to pay a lot of back-pay and OT based on a years worth of driving time from and back-to the men's homes to the jobsite, for those men that drove a company truck. It also applied to the men that met at his house and rode with him. The back-pay was company wide, not to just one individual. It started with one individual that kept a written log of his driving time and then filed a complaint with the DOL after working for us for over a year. The DOL audited our records conpany-wide. It cost us thousands in back pay to a couple of dozen different employees.

I couldn't tell for sure, but it sounds like you are a service company that pays your employees mileage for the use of their own trucks. If you pay them mileage driving to their first work-site of the day, and back home from their last work-site of the day, then you may also be obligated to pay for that driving time as well? I expect the DOL would want to know why you pay for one part and not the other? I assume that you do pay them both time and mileage while traveling from one work site to the next during the day? How is that different?


"Ques # 2: Since this wasn't a regularly scheduled workday, I would think we should pay him mileage. Do we pay for only one way or both ways?"

Once again, don't play favorites. You are setting a precidence. Concerning basic payroll & expense issues, treat all employees the same. Don't pay mileage each way for one guy one time, and then do it differently for him or another guy the next time. Just be consistant.

You may want to have something in your handbook that addresses how special situations will be handled. But do it the same for everyone.

But again, I think it could get you into trouble to pay for driving mileage and not pay for the driving time as well.


"I do not want to cheat this employee and I tend to prefer that we pay him OT and mileage both ways. However, even though I think my boss would agree with me, I need to know legally what we are required to do - in case my boss disagrees I'd like to be able to quote chapter and verse. Also, I'd like to put the correct info into the employee handbook that I'm woefully behind in creating. (I like my guys to be properly informed as to their rights, first of all; plus, if we do better than the minimum required by law, I'd like them to know that)"

I don't know how agressive the DOL is now days -- I haven't had any recent run-ins with them. Also, I've gotten behind on what the current labor laws are (I'm not directly supervising men right now) But I've seen a lot of companies in the past get in trouble over payroll issues and not knowing what the laws require. There are both Federal and State laws that will apply to you. You are far better off to know what they are ahead of time and to operate within those laws, or eventually your company will get an expensive education.

Most states put on regular labor-law workshops to educate employers. Find out if there are any that you can go to.

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#156710 - 06/08/05 01:47 PM Re: Overtime and expenses question
Joey D Offline
Member

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 263
Loc: Arlington MA U.S.
Who's vehicle are they driving and getting paid milage in?
As far as OT, anything outside of a scheduled work day is OT. If I am billing OT then I will pay it or if it's a call back on a job I would eat it but still pay. As far as the holiday even if you can't afford to pay them, odd to me, it should be counted as a regular day.

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#156711 - 06/15/05 04:27 AM Re: Overtime and expenses question
LearJet9 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 196
Loc: Millis, MA USA
Here is our co policy (so you have yet another perspective) If we send out the on call man on a W/E or he gets an automatic 4 hours at OT rate. If he gets sent out on a work day after hours he gets 3 hours at OT. Our guys have company vans so there is no mileage or gas issue. If for some reason a guy has to use his own vehicle he would get paid all mileage to/from. If we didn't do that it would be difficult if not impossible to get anyone to go out on a W/E.

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#156712 - 06/30/05 07:46 AM Re: Overtime and expenses question
LearJet9 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 196
Loc: Millis, MA USA
Another OT issue that just came up for us. A customer (retail) wants work done in their store. They are requiring that the work be done at night after they close because they do not want the intrusion during business hours. They are saying - What difference does it make if you guys work 8 hours from 7AM to 3PM or from 11PM to 7AM? It's still 8 hours! Should't it be the same price? My reply so far has been .... Uhhh no. Am I being unreasonable?? How do you guys answer that?

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#156713 - 06/30/05 08:53 AM Re: Overtime and expenses question
Tiger Offline
Member

Registered: 05/04/05
Posts: 714
Loc: Crystal Lake, IL USA
I suppose if I ran 2 crews on 2 shifts I'd see his point. Otherwise, it's wishful thinking that he'd get this without paying OT.

I'd also consider the inconvenience of closed suppliers and the effect that will have on productive labor.

Dave

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