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A.J., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4300
Experience:  Licensed to practice law, I have experience in Employment, Appeals, and Landlord/Tenant Law
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My company has cut out overtime and replaced it with piecework

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My company has cut out overtime and replaced it with piecework and I work piecework on Saturdays as well. Sometimes my piecework pay on Saturday is less than my regular hourly rate. Is it legal to pay the piecework wage instead of my regular hourly rate?

SavyLawyer : Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. My name isXXXXX am an employment law professional, and I look forward to answering your question this afternoon.
SavyLawyer : So that I can provide as accurate an answer as possible, I need just a little bit more information:
SavyLawyer : (1) What state is this in? (labor law varies from state to state)
Customer: Virginia
SavyLawyer : (2) How is the work that you are doing as "piecework" paid? Is it per project? Also, is this substantially similar to the work you normally do?
Customer: Its by the amount of footage we do
SavyLawyer : Ok, and what type of work is this?
Customer: and yes, its the same as my regular job
Customer: we build interior and exterior walls for houses
SavyLawyer : Ok great, thank you for providing extra information. Finally, just to make sure I understand exactly what is happening, during your normal work week, you are paid hourly for this exact same work?
Customer: yes between 6 am and 2:30 pm. between 3-6 is piecework pay and on Satrudays as well
SavyLawyer : And both your regular shift and the piecework are done at the company's site or elsewhere?
Customer: at the company's plant
SavyLawyer : Ok, again thank you for the extra information. Based on the information, I do not see where there would be an exception to minimum wage and overtime laws here. Any time an employee is non-exempt (meaning that either the state or federal overtime laws apply), and they work more than 40 hours per week, then overtime must be paid.
SavyLawyer : There are situations in which the rules may not apply to certain employers. Virginia does not have its own overtime law, so the federal rules apply. Where an employer has gross receipts of less than $500,000 annually, then overtime rules may not apply.
SavyLawyer : Even where piece work is used, generally the overtime laws do apply however, and employers are required to keep time logs for employees.
Customer: so i should be getting paid overtime instead of piecework?
SavyLawyer : Based on the information provided, yes, if the work is identical to the work done during your normal job, and you are performing the same work more than 40 hours in one week, under the Fair Labor Standards Act you should be receiving overtime.
SavyLawyer : Without knowing exactly what the employer's rationale is here, it is a little tough to know what they are thinking. However, based on the information you have provided, I cannot think of any exemption from the FLSA that would apply.
SavyLawyer : At your discretion, you may file a complaint with the Department of Labor at:
SavyLawyer :
SavyLawyer : or better yet, consult with a local employment law attorney before taking any legal action. The Virginia State Bar Association has a referral service at:
Customer: the piecework is better for the people making 9 an hour but i make quite a bit more so it kid of hurts my paycheck in the long run
SavyLawyer :
SavyLawyer : That certainly makes sense, and as I said based on the information you have provided I am not seeing why you would be exempt from overtime rules. It may be worth seeing if the issue can be resolved directly with your employer before taking any legal action, and certainly it is a good idea to sit down with an attorney in person prior to taking more aggressive action.
SavyLawyer : I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any additional questions or require additional information. Otherwise, please remember to RATE my answer so that I can receive credit for my work.
Customer: that will do for now and thank you. have a good weekend
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