Unfair salary practices

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Unfair salary practices

Postby Keith » Thu Jul 29, 2004 4:08 pm

The sleep lab I formerly worked for (I'm in a new lab now, by the way... \:D/ ) has some fishy salary policies, and I'm wondering if any of you have encountered anything like this:

Salaried technicians are paid for four nights of work. If you choose to pick up a fifth night, you are paid the flat contract rate for the number of patients you do. The policy is that the FIRST four nights of your week are salary, so if you ran two patients per night for the first four nights and only one on the fifth night, you can't abitrarily choose one of the two patient nights as your contract night. Seems fair. However, if on say your second night of the week you slept all day, came in to work, and waited on a patient that didn't show up, the company wants to make your fifth night a salary night and give you a nominal fee ($40) contract pay for the second night. In fact, under this policy the company feels you "owe" them a salary night if you have a no-show, so you can never make definate plans for the weekend because if you have a no-show during the week you are expected to make up that salary night on your scheduled day off. Doesn't seem too fair, does it? In fact, it sounds barely legal.

Just wondering if any of you have unfair salary issues like this.
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Postby Rick » Thu Jul 29, 2004 4:30 pm

Your use of the term "contract rate" intrigues me.
Is there a signed contract for this rate by the employee?
If there is a contract, all of this should be spelled out there.
When one is salaried doesn't one get the same amount of pay, regardless of actual time worked?
That is how I got shafted, by becoming a salaried supervisor and putting in 50-60 hour weeks for no overtime. At the same time, someone else became a supervisor in another department and put in four eight hour days perweek but got the same pay as if they did more...
Don't know if this confused or enlightened.

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Postby Keith » Thu Jul 29, 2004 4:38 pm

Right. This is my understanding of salary: Sometimes I win, sometimes you win. If I have a study that runs until 10 a.m. per the doctor's request, I don't expect a bonus for it. Likewise, If I come in for a few hours and the patient goes home or doesn't show up, I expect my full salary for time worked.

The "contract rate" is a flat fee based on the number of patients. The "no-show fee" is given if you have no patients show up on a contract night. Some of the employees at the company work entirely on a contract basis, even though many of them have set schedules.
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Contract & Schedule

Postby nightpelican » Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:29 am

It seems to me that if you have a contract and a salary, that should specify the schedule, or the number of days, and I can't think that it would be an interupted stretch (like M, Tu then off W and work Th, Fr.), where they would count the off night as a "contract night" instead. You say they count the first four nights as salary, if that is in the contract I would refer them to that and be very tempted to make a bit of an issue. I might assume that you were not told about that part of the operating policy when considering the job change.

It sounds like there could be some improvement in patient scheduling, reminder calls, back-up call list etc. I can't imagine working, or expecting someone to work all night for $40.

You asked about current practices. I have had some weeks with only one patient, and when that happened or when the week was less than full I have been told I could take "No Patient Nights" where it would count toward the insurance benifit like if I worked, but I don't come in and I don't get paid. Not so good on the paycheck or budget. I wasn't told about that part when I considered this position either, I was promised full time.
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Salary practices

Postby robethammon » Mon Aug 02, 2004 2:33 am

I have never worked under such practices, nor would I do so. I have always been paid hourly (I've been a supervisor of three different labs). What states do you live in? As a supervisor, I would not expect a tech to work like that. My techs are hourly, they get paid for every bit of time they work, they have set nights that they work. We have enough techs to cover all of the work. The only time we have to ask someone to take the night off is if we do have more than one patient reschedule or call off. Most of the time, we try our best during the day to fill the spot.

I would think that if techs refused to work under those conditions, the companies who want to employ them would have to chang their ways. If they don't have techs, they don't have a business.

I feel for you guys who have to put up with that.
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Postby Cemorzzz Jax » Mon Aug 02, 2004 2:00 pm

-this might be an area you'll find of interest-

:!: www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/whd/fairpay/main.htm :!:

-another site you might want to look into is the National Labor Relations Board.

All to often we leave the research of these topics to the HR folks -only to find out they are employed by the employer, not the employee.

hope this helps-

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