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TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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My wife is a full time (forty hour) employee of a veterinary

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My wife is a full time (forty hour) employee of a veterinary hospital. She is a senior veterinary technician and is paid hourly. Each weekend one technician is required to perform treatments on animals staying in the hospital and be on call for emergencies. In her original employee contract, these hours were to be paid as worked with overtime applied to those who do indeed work forty hours during the standard week. The hospital is now trying to institute a "flat" 85.00 "bonus" rate for weekend treatments. The bonus word is misleading as the 85.00 "bonus" is to be as a substitute to paying normal wages. In essence, the employee would not clock in and regardless of hours needed on the weekend, they would be paid 85.00. For someone like my wife that would be working hours eligible for overtime pay, this would be a severe decrease in pay. I realize that "on call" or "bonus" pay above and beyond the normal hourly wages is optional for an employer, but is it legal to require her to not clock in and accept this new pay? I believe this pay would also show on the pay check as a bonus, which I believe would increase the tax rate on the income labeled as such. Os that correct? Thank you for any guidance on this issue you could provide. Also, we reside in Connecticut if that is pertinent to the answer.

Thank you for your question.

This is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and violates several state laws regarding record keeping for employee hours and overtime.

Your wife should submit a claim for this with the Connecticut Department of Labor at: .

Submission of such a claim will entitle her to retaliation protection (i.e., they cannot fire her for submitting the claim) and will also likely result in an order by the state for the employer to change it's policies back to the old policy.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
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