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What would you do? (Work question)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My boss told me yesterday they are changing the payroll system to pretty much a 'salary' method. I'll get 35 hours a week and we will only have patients in the office I work at 2 days instead of 3. The other 2 days of the week I do administrative work there with another girl.

So my boss said that I can pretty much arrange my 35 hours how I want to do them. My basic options are to work 4 long days and have 3 off, or have 4 regular days and one short day, pretty much like I do now. I can always switch back and forth too so long as the other girl comes in when I do since I'm the only one without a key. (I may get one soon I think.)

So what would you do? Part of me really likes the idea of having a 4 day workweek, part of me doesn't want to extend my workday.
post #2 of 15
What would your hours be the days you work long days so you could take a 3 day weekend? I think it would be worth it I would love that
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'd do something like 8-5:15 with a half hour lunch break Monday to Thursday.
post #4 of 15
Whoa! Your employer cannot change everyone to salary because they are changing the payroll system. This sends a big red flag to me.

The definition of exempt (salaried) and non-exempt (hourly) are well-defined by the FLSA. If your employer is putting you on "salary" you must meet the FLSA requirements. Are you a supervisor? You do not have a key, so my educated guess is no.

To give you the option of what days and hours to work is a way, IMO, for your boss to get around the salary vs. hourly pay. If you work more than 10 hours in a day or more than 40 hours a week and you are an hourly employee, you are eligible for overtime pay on the 3 days you work the 10 hours (this is my guess from your post as to what you work). If you are "salaried," you aren't entitled to OT.

I guess to sum up, I would check on the federal and local labor laws. I think that your boss is pulling a fast one. Payroll systems can pay both hourly and salaried employees, no problem. Trust me on this one. I have implemented many payroll systems.

The fact that your boss gave you the option to go "salaried" is really a big tip off. Your boss cannot determine whether your job is salaried or not (exempt vs. non-exempt). Changing the payroll system may give him the excuse to not pay you overtime.

Please, do not agree to any hours until you contact the FLSA or your local labor board. Here is a link to the FLSA:

http://www.flsa.com/coverage.html
post #5 of 15
Some things you need to take into consideration:

1. The other girl in the office. What hours is she wanting to work? Maybe she wants long weekends too. You both need to co-ordinate your schedules so that it's fair and that there is coverage 5 days per week.

2. Working extended work days are nice in the short term, but when that's all you work it becomes tiring. I used to work 12 hour shifts and yes, I got more days off, but I was exhausted the days I was working and had no time to do anything other than to eat and sleep. Taking into account: sleeping, getting ready for work, travel time to and from work, work, coming home and making dinner, laundry, unwiding etc.... it takes its toll! I was a walking zombie on the days I was working and I was so tired on my first day off that I considered that day a write off too.

Now of course I work as an RN so I'm on my feet and running around all day or night, so it's different than sitting at a desk. It's easier to work long shifts if you are doing desk work or something that isn't as physically demanding as my job, but regardless, it does still take a toll.

Also, you have to take into account your lunch and coffee breaks into your day. So it's easy to say "I'll work 9 hour days, 4 days per week", but that is actually 10 or even 10.5 hours when you factor in break times. Are you prepared to work from 7am to 5 or 5:30pm or 8am to 6pm or 9am to 7pm for 4 days in a row, ever single week?

If I was in your position I would pick to work 7 hour days 5 days per week, or 8 hour days 4 days per week with a shorter day on Friday.
post #6 of 15
Hmmm...I agree with Butzie...I would definitely see red flags if your employer is changing you to salary from hourly. While you may not be earning overtime now, he wants to avoid it. Is he still paying you as "salary" what you're making (or more) currently?

If you do work longer than your 35 hours make sure that you'll get benefits from this, mostly flex time. Are you paid bi-weekly? If so, then if you work 40 hours one week, you can easily make up the time by working 30 hrs the next week...

However, seeing that it's not your question, my answer is take the longer 4 days. You'll love the 3 day weekend.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by butzie View Post
If you work more than 10 hours in a day or more than 40 hours a week and you are an hourly employee, you are eligible for overtime pay on the 3 days you work the 10 hours (this is my guess from your post as to what you work). If you are "salaried," you aren't entitled to OT.
No that is not always how it works.

When I worked 12 hour shifts at the hospital I was considered "salary". I did get paid for overtime if I worked more than my regular scheduled 12 hours on any given day, or picked up an extra shift during the week, but there were some weeks that I was normally scheduled to work six 12 hour shifts in a week because of the way the schedule fell. What happens with our full time 12 hour shift rotations is that anything you work over the regular work week goes into a "bank" and is drawn on during the pay periods where your schedule doesn't have you working as many shifts to make up a full time pay period. At any given time you can have 24 or 30 hours in your payroll bank waiting to be paid out to you during such times.

However, as I said, if I were to work 16 hours in a day instead of the 12 hours, then I would be paid over time for that extra 4 hours. At one time they used to allow us to bank those overtime hours towards time off, but that changed and it had to be paid out as overtime pay.

What her employer is doing is completely acceptable, provided they are not making her work beyond her scheduled 35 hours per pay period. Now of course if she was scheduled to work 10 hour days as her regular work day, and she stayed 12 hours, then yes, she would have to be compensated for the 2 hours. Now it depends on what you work out with the employer. Some like to pay the 2 hours as overtime, I personally would rather bank it and have it to use should I need time off for whatever reason. Not every employer will allow you to bank your overtime though.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
When I took the job I knew it would be around 35 hours, so they aren't reducing that any. My weekly hours since I've been there have varied between 33 and 36, depending on how I take my lunches. I think we just won't be allowed to go over our 35 hours for now. They deffinately are flexible with letting us off work for things; but I don't know exactly how this will work out now.

The way I figured it is that 35/4=8.75 or 8 hrs and 45 minutes. Then add a half hour lunch break, so 9 hours and 15 minutes 4 days a week. I work for a very small office. It's me, the doctor's wife and a medical assistant.

They are in the process of closing out a practice the doctor was left holding when the main doctor died and the others had moved or retired and one abandoned the practice. So there is a lot of legal stuff going on with them and that is the reason the payroll is changing. It's changing hands from a contracted accounting vendor to the office manager with the doctor's 'new' solo practice.

ETA: I don't know for sure exactly how they are classifying me. She never really said Salary, but said something along the lines of getting a flat 35 hours, (which to me is the same thing) and that I could arrange my hours to have Friday off if I want since we won't have patients in the office then or I can work pretty much as I do now.
post #9 of 15
I work four 10 hour days....Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I love this schedule. Work two days, have a day off, work two more days, have the weekend off. You can do just about anything for two days in a row!

Of course, working in the O.R., I have to take call at least one night a week, and at least one weekend a month....but that's a whole different pain in the butt.
post #10 of 15
Pookie just described my dream schedule. And if you can cut back to four days a week, you also save on gas, which reduces pollution. Obviously, it can't work for every kind of business -- but personally, I think any business that can go to a four-day week (for some or all employees) really ought to do so.
post #11 of 15
I would totally go for the 4 day work week, hands down!

My question is, do you "clock-in" now? If you do, I'm assuming the change is going to be that you do not clock in anymore, you just get 35 hours a week, every week, on the nose. That's how I get paid, I get paid exactly 40 hours every week, no "clocking in" but I am considered hourly and not salary
post #12 of 15
I also am considered salaried, not hourly, but I do get paid for OT (our workweek is 37.5 hours). So, not necessarily a big red flag, unless OT is not getting paid for hours over her scheduled workweek.

How long is your commute? I guess I mean, how long would your total work day be, including door to door - that might be a big factor. Also, I agree about working with the other people to make sure everyone's getting a three day weekend, if that's what they'd like.

Good luck!
post #13 of 15
I'd definitely recommend going with a 4-day work week, as you'd not only save commuting and "getting dolled up for work" time, but would have a weekday for dental/doctor/hairdresser/vet appointments, etc., can get your household chores done and have more free time on the weekend, and won't have to take a day off to have repairs done or major deliveries made.

I've had all my classes scheduled 4 days a week for years, and love it.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
I would totally go for the 4 day work week, hands down!

My question is, do you "clock-in" now? If you do, I'm assuming the change is going to be that you do not clock in anymore, you just get 35 hours a week, every week, on the nose. That's how I get paid, I get paid exactly 40 hours every week, no "clocking in" but I am considered hourly and not salary
I think that is what they are planning on. Now we have a paper time card where were write down when we 'clock in' and when we 'clock out' and the same for lunches.

This week I'm just counting up how many hours I've worked so far and I'll work whatever is left over on Friday. I think next week I'll try longer days, but it partly depends on when my co-worker comes in since she has the key. They'd already have given me one, but the keys literally say "Do Not Copy" on them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by darlili View Post
How long is your commute? I guess I mean, how long would your total work day be, including door to door - that might be a big factor. Also, I agree about working with the other people to make sure everyone's getting a three day weekend, if that's what they'd like.

Good luck!
I commute 30 minutes each way. It's not a bad drive really, but I'm defiantly using more gas than with my last job! That one was only like 4 miles max from my house. That definitely is a reason I'd like to only work 4 days a week!
post #15 of 15
Overtime (at least here in Ontario Canada) is based on hours per week not hours per day.
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