I am a mechanic paid on commission, I work for a privately owned franchise located in Northern IL. It seems more and more lately that they are trying to get me to quit by an obvious attempt to restrict my workload and playing obvious favoritism
to the other technicians, and/or trying to build a case to fire me without chance of unemployment benefits
Saturdays we are open from 7:30am to 4pm, then they expect the hourly guys and the commission guys to stay from 4 to 5pm and clean the shop floor etc.... even though the commission guys have no choice but to do it for free as there is no book time/commission pay to wash floors, yet the hourly guys stay punched in and get paid their normal wage
to stay and wash floors.
This last Saturday before Labor
Day I informed my manager twice that I had to leave at 4pm(store closing) as I had personal things to take care of right after work, of which two other employees and a camera recording audio and video had witnessed, and also witnessed my manager say "ok, no problem, just finish up what you can and I will finish whatever you don't finish by 4pm". I had also suggested to the manager that the big job I was working on would be impossible to complete by 4pm as the part that needed to be replaced was going to show up in the afternoon(2-3pm) instead of in the morning as they had previously told me, and we close at 4 and I could not stay late to finish. I had also suggested that he give the job to another technician who was able to stay late and finish the job, or have the customer bring the vehicle back when we would have sufficient time to properly fix the vehicle. The manager was aware of the situation and had pulled that job outside and pulled me off of it stating "that truck is no longer priority" due to an overload of other cars/work that had been dropped off that morning and had to be completed.
After I finished working on 3 other vehicles, I had pulled in the big job again and got started on it about 1:30pm at which time I had decided to take my lunch break
(which management DOES NOT like anyone to take). I continued to work on the truck after lunch and finished one of the two tasks that needed to be done to this particular vehicle, figuring I'd be the nice guy and at least stay to finish the one task and would only have to leave him to finish the other small task. At this point it was now almost 4:30.
After i had finished the one task, I had started putting my tools away and tried to leave asap as I was now 20-30min late for my previous engagement after work. The manager walked into the shop, saw me putting my tools away and cleaning up at which point he started to tell me that I could not leave because the job was not finished!!! I was in awe as I had not only made it abundantly clear, twice, that I had to leave at 4pm, but also the fact that he had understood my situation and agreed to finish whatever I couldn't by 4pm, twice, and with witnesses!! He continued to yell at me, threw his arms in the air and said I'm getting written up for insubordination
, quality of work and time spent on work, as he DEMANDED respect from me as my manager?
The shop was closed Sunday and Monday, I came in this morning(Tuesday) only to be pulled into the main office, continued to get yelled at and then he expected me to sign the write up, which I could not sign as there was ZERO truth to it. He then stated I was being sent home for the day, of which I can only imagine was to make me mad as we have to work a full day after a holiday to get paid our holiday pay.
Sorry for the novel, I'm just trying to be as accurate as possible here, fully inform you of the events that happened.
1. What are my options at this point? I know their camera system records up to two weeks of video and audio, can I make them save the footage so that I can prove my case?
2. As I stated, my employer/management HATES when people take lunch breaks.... most of the time we are lucky to get one. Most days we are scheduled 10-13hr days and if we are busy they will tell us we have to finish whatever jobs we are working on before taking a 1/2hr break. Most times people start at 7:30 and won't get a break until 4, 5, 6pm, if we're lucky enough to get a break at all. What are my options to correct this, as I know legally we are allowed at least a 20min break after 5hrs of work when scheduled for 7.5hrs or more.
3. Can they legally make the commission guys stay an hour after work to clean floors EVERY Saturday, without pay?
4. Also, we use ADP online to punch in and out as a time clock, ADP keeps all of our clock in/out records.... I had noticed over the last 6-7 months that people were complaining about their punch in/out times changing without their consent or permission. Recently I have learned that the regional manager was editing everyone's punch times to hike up his commission check at the end of the month as he is paid a % of shop profit. Owners found out and cover it up. Highly illegal?