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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Is it legal employer to deduct 3.5 hours worked each week

Customer Question

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
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

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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