22 thoughts on “February 8, 2017

  1. I think he knows that if he says it’s a requirement to work 10 hours overtime she can go over his head and get him in trouble. Frankly some of the stuff he’s pulled off I’m amazed she hasn’t already.

    • Theoretically she could, but if she did, the big question would be… would Stuart be removed, or just reprimanded? If the latter, she’d still have Stuart to deal with – but now he’d be even more spiteful and heinous.

      Even if Stuart were removed, there’s no guarantee that his replacement won’t be twice as bad.

      You really don’t want to pull THAT trigger unless you absolutely have to. It can’t be undone, and the end result may be worse than you were dealing with initially.

      • Doesn’t matter, a reprimand already means he can’t keep doing what he’s doing, and if you get a reprimand and a month later you still do things the same way as before, you’re out.

        • In a perfect world, perhaps. In the real world… well, we already know how toxic managers never seem to go away. Oh, so many examples from my own experiences…

      • If Stuart had said the 10 hours were REQUIRED, I bet Marla would have pulled that trigger and he knows it.

        And you are so right about a replacement possibly being worse. Like the guy Stuart replaced who kept calling Marla Darla…

        • Sure, because then Stuart would be violating the fair labor laws. Marla, Cooper, and Brice would all be entitled to overtime.

          Shit like this is why the government changed the definition of exempt employee. That’s been changed back recently, but the issue is still pertinent.

      • I’d say being told you have to work at least 50 hours a week would justify it. And can you imagine trying to tell that to Val and Cooper?

        Plus, once 50 is the norm, 55 or 60 will be next. She needs to stop it here and now.

  2. What Stuart is proposing would actually cost more in payroll. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act is clear that the only salaried employees who are exempt from overtime time-and-a-half compensation are those in management. They have to have authority to determine policy, or to make management-level decisions (hiring, firing, disciplinary actions, banning obnoxious customers, etc.). In the Grumbel’s hierarchy, the only ones who meet this standard are store managers like Marla, regional/district managers like Stuart, and those higher than Stuart in authority. Bryce may possibly be considered management-exempt, if he has any authority to do more than just harass the other employees. (Just determining the shift schedules doesn’t count as policy-making.) As shift supervisor or stockroom sup, Val and Cooper aren’t exempt and must be compensated for any overtime worked.

    The courts can come down hard on Grumbel’s if they learn that corporate practice has “re-defined” management-exempt to include all salaried employees. There would likely be a fair bit of back-pay due, and quite possibly some actual mid-level management-exempt positions with sudden vacancies. 😉

    This, of course, makes Stuart’s refusal to make it a direct order that much more heinous – Marla knows if she implements it, it puts the blame on her if it ever hits the fan.

    • I don’t know where you get that only management is exempt from overtime. Any exempt salaried employee would qualify, and that includes Cooper who would also qualify under your rules as he is stock room manager. Where I work if you are exempt salaried, your job is assumed to take a minimum of 40 hours per week. You get other perks to make up for that, like earning vacation at almost double the rate, but it has nothing to do with if you are called a manager or not.

      • From http://www.dol.gov:
        For the FLSA section 13(a)(1) exemptions to apply, an employee generally must be paid on a salary basis of no less than $455 per week (see below for possible pending updates) and perform certain types of work that:

        . is directly related to the management of his or her employer’s business, or
        . is directly related to the general business operations of his or her employer or the employer’s clients, or
        . requires specialized academic training for entry into a professional field, or
        . is in the computer field, or
        . is making sales away from his or her employer’s place of business, or
        . is in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.

        FLSA Section 13(a)(17) exempts hourly paid employees who perform certain types of work in the computer field if they are paid at a rate of not less than $27.63 per hour.

        Exemptions are determined based on each specific employment situation. Job titles alone do not determine the exempt or non-exempt status of any employee. Each determination is based on the specific job duties performed and compensation received.
        ~~~
        Still pending, from
        https://www.dol.gov/WHD/overtime/final2016/

        Final Rule: Overtime
        Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act

        The Department published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on July 6, 2015 (80 FR 38515) and invited interested parties to submit written comments on the proposed rule at http://www.regulations.gov by September 4, 2015. The Department received over 270,000 comments in response to the NPRM from a variety of interested stakeholders. The feedback the Department received helped shape the Final Rule.

        Key Provisions of the Final Rule:

        The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule:

        . Sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South ($913 per week; $47,476 annually for a full-year worker);
        . Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees (HCE) subject to a minimal duties test to the annual equivalent of the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally ($134,004); and
        . Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years to maintain the levels at the above percentiles and to ensure that they continue to provide useful and effective tests for exemption.

        Additionally, the Final Rule amends the salary basis test to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary level.

        The effective date of the final rule is December 1, 2016. The initial increases to the standard salary level (from $455 to $913 per week) and HCE total annual compensation requirement (from $100,000 to $134,004 per year) will be effective on that date. Future automatic updates to those thresholds will occur every three years, beginning on January 1, 2020.
        ~~
        (On November 23, 2016, a United States District judge imposed an injunction, temporarily stopping the updated rule’s enforcement nationwide, in order to have time to determine whether the Department of Labor had the authority to issue the regulation. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/22/obama-overtime-pay-rule-blocked-federal-judge/)
        ~~
        Basically, unless a retail employee is actually Management (not just performing occasional managerial duties in addition to their regular duties), they are not overtime-exempt.

        The federal Department of Labor tends to look rather unfavorably on employers who mislabel their employees in order to shave their payrolls.

        • None of which she qualifies as since she is on the floor, ringing up customers, setting up displays- basically doing everything an hourly employee does in addition to the managerial job requirements. She isn’t exempt, she is the posterchild for the protections!

  3. and even then his verbal order would be worth the paper it was written on. This is one where only physical media cover your backside

    • Stuart knows that would be the next thing out of Marla’s mouth if he tried to tell her it’s a requirement. She’d either ask to see the policy or tell him to send her something stating that she has to do that.

      Likewise, he can’t directly punish her for not doing it. He can make things harder for her in other ways but he can’t officially reprimand her for not making salaried employees work overtime.

      • Proof that Stuart isn’t as dumb as he looks.

        I was thinking more along the lines that if Stuart said it was required, then she’d have grounds to report him. (Although, since it’s just a phone conversation, that’s going to be hard to make stick.)

        • That lack of stickiness goes two ways. If Marla works only 40 hours, that is the usual and customary definition of “full time”, and if there are no problems, than Stuart can’t say officially anything.

  4. well you could require them to work 50 hours, then they will get sick and be off. You’ll be required to give them sick pay (or rather pay them normal wages) AND you’ll need to pay replacements to cover their shift, which could result in OT.

    • Taking too much sick time can get you fired very quickly.

      Employers really don’t want you to take sick time unless you are in the hospital.

      However, if you routinely SCHEDULE an exempt employee for more than 40 hours, you’re violating the labor laws; those folks are entitled to overtime. If they by chance work more than 40 hours, then they’re not because they’re exempt.

      Stuart is playing with fire.

    • Pretty much everyone’s head is disproportionate. It’s the style of the strip. Possibly to facilitate making the faces more expressive?

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