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I hold an hourly position where I work 40 hours per week across three days (2x 14 hour days and 1x 12 hour day). If I work overtime (over 40hr per week) I do get overtime pay, but my state does not have any daily overtime laws.

My weekly pay stub for last week shows that I worked a total of 40 hours (which I did) but it shows a typical 5-day week with 8 hours per day. Each day worked gets its own line, so I'll see something like "30-AUG-18: 8hrs" for each weekday in that period. I'll also note that I get paid a stipend per calendar day worked, which is correctly calculated for 3 days during the last pay period.

I don't think my employer is doing anything shady and this may just be my own irritation at what seems like an odd process, but I may not be picking up on something subtle.

My question is: Is there any potentially malicious purpose that could be attributed to the intentional misrepresentation of the actual dates that I worked in a period when the actual hours add up correctly and there is no statewide daily overtime law?

Edit: Location is Texas, USA

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    Depending on what payroll software they use, this might be the "default" setting for 40 hour weeks. maybe they're too lazy to manually edit it if they don't suspect any abuse by you and don't hand check your timesheets. – Magisch Sep 3 '18 at 14:26
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    @Kilisi It worries me just because my pay stub is incorrectly reporting an unambiguous fact. In a case where accuracy is not difficult to achieve, I expect to see it. Especially on something as important as pay records. If something were shady I would take the appropriate steps to counter it ranging from taking screenshots of the time tracking portal every week to raising an issue with HR and, if needed, further escalation. However I also wouldn't want to draw negative attention if it's something as innocent as "the system is 20 years old and I have OCD" so I'm checking here first. – Brian R Sep 3 '18 at 14:50
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    If the stipend is calculated for 3 days, but you're written down for 5, then it's highly unlikely to be a simple mistake. Someone seems to have put in the effort to misrepresent your worked hours. You might want to add in a location, too. There might be some rules that are being worked around there. – Erik Sep 3 '18 at 14:52
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    @Erik - Updated the question to note that this is in Texas, USA – Brian R Sep 3 '18 at 14:55
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    Not so much an answer as a relevant anecdote: I work as a consultant. The customer and I have agreed that I can shift hours if I need to. However, there is a monthly hour contract between my employer and the client. If I were to shift hours in a week where a new month starts, that causes a whole lot of additional paperwork. So me, my employer and the client have agreed to bill 8 hours per day consistently, and my and my (client) manager simply make sure to keep track of shifted hours. You may be in a similar case where you're free to shift hours around but you have a consistent shift instead. – Flater Jan 16 at 11:02
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Is there any potentially malicious purpose that could be attributed to the intentional misrepresentation of the actual dates that I worked in a period when the actual hours add up correctly and there is no statewide daily overtime law?

If you are interested in understanding if there is malicious intent, the US Department of Labor may be helpful, especially the Wage and Hour Division (https://www.dol.gov/whd/state/state.htm) - this mostly regulates hourly pay and required work breaks, but you didn't mention any issues with meals or breaks. In that regard, you may be entitled to meal breaks that you are not receiving, but I doubt that a company would try to "hide" that fact by altering your paycheck.

It is unlikely anything malicious is happening, but if it is the DOL would likely help you uncover it. Most likely what seems to you to be a "simple" fix may actually be very difficult. Certain software systems have strange restrictions (I worked at one place that automatically applied overtime for more than 8 hours worked on any given day) or it may be lack of attention to detail on the part of HR. There are employment arrangements where the employee works two 24-hour shifts (like all weekend) and then is off the remainder of the week. So there may be reasons but not obviously malicious ones.

The suggestion to ask your employer is reasonable. The fact they are providing you with a document that does not reflect true circumstances should at least warrant an explanation from them (i.e. "we have a stupid payroll software system" or whatever). And from your question there isn't anything obvious that they would gain by misrepresenting your time either (i.e. they are avoiding taxes or might have federal funding withheld).

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There is probably a simple explanation. The solution is simple, ask whoever is doing payroll. It's normal to enquire if there is a problem with payroll which worries you.

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Depending on your location, there may be a maximum daily hours worked with mandatory overtime.

IMHO, if its large company, talk to HR, if small, your manager

i don`t think you should leave it as is

  • Well, he has updated to say Texas. I can't remember the US laws, but in Germany, for instance, it is illegal to work more than 10 hours per day and the employer could face a very heavy fine. Other European countries have similar laws. There are also laws which stipulate breaks depending on hours worked. I think up to 6 hours it can be either no break or 15 minutes, after 6 hours you must take a 30 minute break, another break at hours. There are good health & safety reasons for this, you are unlikely to be productive if you work a straight 12 hours, and could be a danger. – Mawg Sep 4 '18 at 6:21
  • This has led to me leaving early to avoid having to take a break, which would not be paid as I am self-employed. Not that that is relevant here. It could simply be that the employer wants to hide the fact that they are breaking labo(u)r laws, as you say – Mawg Sep 4 '18 at 6:22
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In my company any work before 6 a.m. or after 8 p.m. is overtime and compensated extra.

Maybe there are similar rules in your company or jurisdiction and your employer doesn't want to pay the extra. If you work 14 hours / day it's more likely to work after or before such hours.

In addition in my jurisdiction you are only allowed working 10 hours / day (with several exceptions) and after 6 hours there's a mandatory break of 30 minutes. Your jurisdiction may have similar rules, which are broken by working 14 hours / day regularly.

Be aware there may not only be laws regarding worktime and overtime, but also insurance regulations, e.g. if you get injured while working.

I would just ask a naive questions whoever is responsible for your payroll. Depending on the type of their answer you might get a feeling, if there's something shady going on.

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Not a lawyer, but they could be running foul of some local labour laws. Some here have already pointed out overtime in their answers, but there could be others (breaks you are entitled to but not given, maximum length of a shift, mandatory rest periods after a shift, etc.)

I'd talk with a lawyer about this if you want to pursue it.

  • Why talk to a lawyer? They are expensive. Better to talk to the person doing the payroll. Most probably just a human error or oversight – Ed Heal Jan 16 at 11:25

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