Ask The Lawyer By: Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.
ONE EMPLOYER, TWO LOCATIONS – DOES OVERTIME APPLY?
QUESTION: I work part-time at two different medical clinics, in different towns. One of them is owned and operated by two doctors, who also own the company that manages both medical clinics – does payroll, sets hours, and pays benefits – although the doctors don’t actually own the second clinic. Between the two jobs, I usually average more than 40 hours per week, but I’m never paid any overtime. The office manager of each clinic says I need to work 40 hours for one business before I am eligible for overtime.
ANSWER: From the facts you state here, your two employers may be joint employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act. If so, both employers may employ the same worker during the same work week and be jointly responsible for complying with the FLSA.
However, the Department of Labor has recently redefined the scope of the joint employer rule. Under the rule, the focus is whether the potential joint employer actually exercises the power to hire or fire the employee, supervise and control the employee’s work schedules and conditions of employment; determine the employee’s rate and method of payment; and maintain the employee’s employment records.
Your description of the actions of the management company indicate that, even under the revised rule, it is a joint employer with the clinics. If you believe you have been denied overtime compensation to which you are entitled, you may report the violation of your rights, anonymously, to the Department of Labor at 1-866-487-9243, or online at https://www.dol.gov/whd/.
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SK THE LAWYER
By: Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
GWINN LEGAL PLLC
901 Wilshire Drive, Suite 550
Troy, MI 48084
(248) 247-3310 facsimile