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Is it legal employer to deduct 3.5 hours worked each week

Customer Question
Is it legal for my...
Is it legal for my employer to deduct 3.5 hours worked each week before calculating my income earned? I am an hourly employee. I get paid twice a month, 24 times a year. Each payroll I submit my billable hours. My employer bills my clients for ALL my billable hours. However, they only pay me for my hours MINUS 6 hours each pay period. They consider the 6 hours as administration costs.
They bill $150 per hour.
They pay me $50 per hour.
I think the administration costs should come out of the $100 per hour they get from my work.
Please tell me if this is legal!
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
2/18/2016
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 1 year ago
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,075
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

If you are paid on an "hourly" basis, you are entitled to ALL time you spend working for your employer. "Work" is defined as all time during which you are under their control performing activities for their benefit. This would include non-billable time spent on administrative tasks. So, in this case you would be correct that you are entitled to be paid for the additional hours.

The only exception would be if your agreement is to pay you only for billable time. In that case, you are arguably being paid on a "piecemeal" basis, and provided the agreement is clear to you and the wages you receive equal or exceed minimum wage for all hours worked ("worked" being defined as above so as to include your non-billable time), then your employer will be compliant with the law.

So ultimately, it comes down to what you agreed. If you are simply "hourly," then your employer must pay you your hourly rate for all "work," which includes non-billable time. The wrinkly is that if your agreement expressly states you are only to be compensated for billable time and if that billable compensation exceeds minimum wages for your hours worked, that would arguably be compliant with the wage laws in NJ.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

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Category: Employment Law
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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