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how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: September 05, 2008 04:21PM
My brother works for the NC prison system. He works 12 hour shifts, but holidays only count for 8 hours. So every holiday, the state TAKES 4 hours of his vacation to make up the difference. That doesn't seem fair to me. Its YOUR vacation to do what YOU want to do with it. Also, he's told me about how their overtime is enforced strangely. Technically you are overtime if you work over 160 hours per month. But they don't actually pay you overtime unless you exceed 171 hours a month. He also has comp time that just "disappears".

So who can answer his questions? I thought the Dept. of Labor, but hell thats the state too.




__________________________________
Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2008 04:26PM by bazookaman.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: kanesa
Date: September 05, 2008 04:38PM
Is he in a union? Is this something addressed in the state-union contract? If it is, I certainly would have him contact his union and make a request to change this. Also, to encourage others to contact their union reps and complain.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: September 05, 2008 04:46PM
no union. you can't be part of a union in NC AFAIK.




__________________________________
Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: kanesa
Date: September 05, 2008 04:49PM
I thought about that after I posted when I saw what state it was. I am a state employee and belong to a union and that would never be in our contract. I give your brother a lot of credit for working in the prison system. Not enough money in the world could get me to do it. It is a very stressful job.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: Rolando
Date: September 05, 2008 04:50PM
Call the Dept of Labor, go Federal!
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: September 05, 2008 04:51PM
Wow! Is your brother sure this isn't just a computer programming error? When I worked for the state (not NC) and put in my 8 hour shift on a holiday, I got paid for 20 hours - yes, double time and a half. There was, though, union representation, although I didn't belong to it.

I'd go ahead and check first with the NC Department of Labor. If there's no help from them, I'm sure that's in violation of some federal law, so there should be a federal agency that he could check with. I can't think of which one off the top of my head. Maybe it'll come to me later. Or maybe I could Google for it!
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: September 05, 2008 04:52PM
Quote
Rolando
Call the Dept of Labor, go Federal!

Oh, yeh! That's the one! I guess it was a little obvious for me.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: September 05, 2008 04:54PM
US Dept of Labor [www.dol.gov]

[www.dol.gov]



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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: kanesa
Date: September 05, 2008 04:55PM
Alpha

Even though you may not have been a union member, you benefitted from a union contract which usually protects from abuses like this.

I would contact the Dept of Labor state first and see what NC labor laws say on this subject. At lot of this stuff can sometimes be found online.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: September 05, 2008 04:57PM
Quote
Rolando
Call the Dept of Labor, go Federal!

The Federal Dept. of Labor defers to the states' hour and pay rules in many cases, especially on state employee issues. If the state rules for labor relations allow, then what his brother is seeing may be normal for NC. It is one major problem with working for state or local government, not every protection available under Federal labor laws are active depending on which state you work in. That is why I belong to a union working as a state employee for the protections in the contract. At least our state's protections match or exceed the Federal minimums.



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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 05, 2008 05:10PM
>>If the state rules for labor relations allow, then what his brother is seeing may be normal for NC.

I really don't understand how working for free would be acceptable.

is he getting paid overtime when working a holiday? and if so, what rate?
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: September 05, 2008 05:26PM
Quote
mattkime
>>If the state rules for labor relations allow, then what his brother is seeing may be normal for NC.

I really don't understand how working for free would be acceptable.

is he getting paid overtime when working a holiday? and if so, what rate?

As I understand the original post, if the brother is scheduled to normally work a day that is a holiday, but does take the holiday off, then he only gets credit for 8 hours and has to use 4 hours of vacation or other time to cover the rest of the 12 hours time off. Not a case of not getting paid for working, and possibly no overtime given for holiday work. Again, that is often a state or union contract issue, not Federal. For example, here before unionization, many persons could be required to work a holiday, only for compensatory time off at a future date. As it is, if I get one of those "comp" days for working a holiday, I lose it if I do not use it within 90 or 120 days. I would have to check the contract, another type of "comp" day goes away on the other of the two time periods, 90 or 120 days. Some holidays now have provisions for "double time" to be paid.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2008 05:31PM by JoeH.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: September 05, 2008 05:28PM
According to him, the computer system they use has been in operation for 15 years. Apparently it was pawned off on NC after another state found it lacking. The employees are forced to conform to the system which is all about entering hours rather than getting a system that works with the employees situation.

For holiday pay...if he has off Labor day, he is paid for EIGHT hours of work. B/c state employees work 8 hours shifts. However, since he works a 12 hour shift, thats 4 hours that has to come from somewhere. He can TRY to go to work for 4 hours but chances are he won't be able to since he's not scheduled to work since its a holiday. So, 4 hours comes off his vacation.

ok. let me clarify that. He doesn't technically get ANY holidays off since the prison operates 24/7. BUT he does get comped 8 hours for that holiday. BUT. He works a 12 hour shift. So he ONLY gets 8 hours for the holiday. So where does the other 4 hours come from? He cannot go to work for 4 hours. They take his vacation.




__________________________________
Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2008 05:53PM by bazookaman.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: September 05, 2008 06:13PM
Bear in mind that if he works for the Dept of Prisons (or Corrections, depending on state), that also throws some extra stuff in the mix.
Being a "vital service", at least in california, that means he can't strike, and MUST work if the department is short handed, no matter what overtme consequences there are.

His hours may be affected by this "vital service" status if he works directly with prisoners, etc.

I'd say the State Department of Labor would be a good place to start. Maybe don't mention WHAT state job he has right up front.. clarify the "normal" laws, before you ask about any special circumstances for the Dept of Prisons, etc.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

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Eureka, CA
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: September 05, 2008 06:48PM
Argh! I read the initial post improperly, and I apologize. What I don't understand in this case is whether your brother chose to take the day off or if it was one of his regularly scheduled non-work days. Which? If he chose to take it off, that's one thing; if he was due to have the day off, then I might view that a bit differently. However, I still don't know which it was.

And, yes, kanesa, I do understand I was benefiting from the negotiated agreement even though I wasn't a member. We don't need to go into why, but it wasn't because I was intrinsically opposed to paying my dues. smiling smiley
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: Black Landlord
Date: September 05, 2008 06:54PM
Quote
bazookaman
My brother works for the NC prison system. He works 12 hour shifts, but holidays only count for 8 hours. So every holiday, the state TAKES 4 hours of his vacation to make up the difference.

I don't understand the problem.

By your reasoning, unless I don't understand something, if one can negotiate (2 ) 20-hour shifts a week, and one of them falls on a holiday, they should get the whole 20 hours vacation time?
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: September 05, 2008 07:04PM
Oh, one question about your brother and holidays. If he is not scheduled to work on a day that is a holiday, does he get compensatory time off to be used later? For example, my work schedule is Sunday through Thursday, if a holiday falls on a Friday for example, I get one comp day credited to use later. Given that not many holidays fall on a Friday, this is more of a benefit for the part-time employees who get a partial day credited and the persons scheduled for weekends and do not work Mondays when most of the holidays occur. I usually have to work the Monday holidays, I just finished using up the comp days I got during the Spring semester over the Summer.

P.S. I'm not one of those "vital service" types Paul F, mentioned. But as a state employee I can not strike either. It is in the state labor relation regulations and laws here.







Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2008 07:11PM by JoeH.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: kanesa
Date: September 05, 2008 07:06PM
Alpha, I wasn't insinuating anything about you in my comment. We have a closed shop, so you have to pay. I was just trying to convey that when a union is involved, these things don't happen.


I misunderstood your brother's situation, bazookaman. I thought he was working 12 hours and only going to be paid for 8. It is a little trickier when he is off and getting 8 hours holiday pay. The only way we can get paid for more than 8 hrs holiday pay is to actually work for more than 8 hours. I don't know what his recourse is in this situation.

The only situation we have that is even remotely similar to this is the change from ST to DST. The night employees work 7 hours and have to cover the lost hour with vacation time. Otherwise they are considered off payroll. You have to have a 40 hr week. But it is spelled out in our contract



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2008 07:13PM by kanesa.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: September 05, 2008 07:19PM
Quote
kanesa
Alpha, I wasn't insinuating anything about you in my comment. We have a closed shop, so you have to pay. I was just trying to convey that when a union is involved, these things don't happen.

I didn't take it negatively, but I also realized it sounded kind of strange to say I enjoyed the benefits of the union without paying the dues. I always felt a bit guilty, but not joining happened to work out better at that point in time, because of my employment status. The situation in NC sounds like a good example of when a union would be of benefit to the employees. That, nowadays anyway, isn't always the case.

And, I also thought his brother was working 12 hours but getting paid for only eight. That isn't the case, but I still don't quite know what the exact situation is.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: blooz
Date: September 05, 2008 07:52PM
Molotov cocktail?



And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.
—Friedrich Nietzsche
Western Massachusetts
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: September 05, 2008 07:56PM
Quote
kanesa
I misunderstood your brother's situation, bazookaman. I thought he was working 12 hours and only going to be paid for 8. It is a little trickier when he is off and getting 8 hours holiday pay. The only way we can get paid for more than 8 hrs holiday pay is to actually work for more than 8 hours.

He is taking a day off. A DAY for him is 12 hours. A DAY for other state employees is 8 hours. So when he uses his "floating" Labor Day holiday he gets off 8 hours. Now that would be ok, if he could go in and work for 4 hours to make up the difference. But he cannot b/c he is technically ON VACATION for his DAY (12 hours). So in order for the state to make up this discrepancy, they TAKE 4 hours from his vacation pool. Does that make more sense?

So when he takes off his 12 holidays during the year, he actually has to use48 hours of vacation automatically just to even everything out. Thats what he's upset about. If he had the choice, he'd go in a work for 4 hours. But he is not given that choice. they just take his vacation without any input from him. So it becomes the state's vacation, not his.




__________________________________
Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2008 07:59PM by bazookaman.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: September 05, 2008 07:57PM
Quote
blooz
Molotov cocktail?

I've been tempted a few times....



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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: September 05, 2008 08:15PM
Quote
bazookaman
Quote
kanesa
I misunderstood your brother's situation, bazookaman. I thought he was working 12 hours and only going to be paid for 8. It is a little trickier when he is off and getting 8 hours holiday pay. The only way we can get paid for more than 8 hrs holiday pay is to actually work for more than 8 hours.

He is taking a day off. A DAY for him is 12 hours. A DAY for other state employees is 8 hours. So when he uses his "floating" Labor Day holiday he gets off 8 hours. Now that would be ok, if he could go in and work for 4 hours to make up the difference. But he cannot b/c he is technically ON VACATION for his DAY (12 hours). So in order for the state to make up this discrepancy, they TAKE 4 hours from his vacation pool. Does that make more sense?

So when he takes off his 12 holidays during the year, he actually has to use48 hours of vacation automatically just to even everything out. Thats what he's upset about. If he had the choice, he'd go in a work for 4 hours. But he is not given that choice. they just take his vacation without any input from him. So it becomes the state's vacation, not his.

Well, it sounds good for him to say he'd rather go in and work his four hours, but is that really practical in terms of scheduling? It wouldn't have been where I worked. If a person's schedule calls for him to work 12 hours and he's not there, then somebody else has to be there, right? So what then when you brother wants to come in and work one third of his shift? Over staffed? The other guy gets shafted by four hours? Yes, it does sound unfair on the face of it, but analyzing it a bit more might find there's some logic in there, too. Or not, because you never did say if he was taking off for a holiday on a day that he would normally be required to work.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: blooz
Date: September 05, 2008 08:16PM
Quote
JoeH
Quote
blooz
Molotov cocktail?

I've been tempted a few times....

Shouldn't have said that. now they'll come after you too.



And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.
—Friedrich Nietzsche
Western Massachusetts
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: kanesa
Date: September 05, 2008 08:17PM
Ok Now I think I understand

I work in a 24 hour health care facility. We have a lot of different shifts and percentages (50/60/100% etc) working. We have weekend only employees that work 10 hr shifts every Sat and Sun. If they take a day off regardless if it is vacation or holiday or whatever, they have to cover that 10 hour day with some kind of time. We get a pool of time which includes vacation/holiday/personal time. I think he has to use his time to cover the 12 hours. JMO I could be wrong
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: TLB
Date: September 05, 2008 09:23PM
I think this is an artifact of 12 hour shifts. My brother is a union paramedic and I'm pretty sure he has a similar arrangement. I think they consider a month to be twenty 8 hour days, so they have to put in the equivalent of 160 hours in that period. They do it in combinations of 8, 10 and 12 hour shifts. However each day is only an eight hour day on the books and if they work longer shifts the additional time worked is sort of like compensatory time against one of the "extra" days off that result from these type of shifts. If a holiday falls on a 12 hour shift day, and they don't work, they will be 4 hours short of the 160 required in the month, so they need to work an extra shift (usually swap an 8 for a 12) or take leave.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: Black Landlord
Date: September 05, 2008 09:32PM
Quote
Black Landlord
Quote
bazookaman
My brother works for the NC prison system. He works 12 hour shifts, but holidays only count for 8 hours. So every holiday, the state TAKES 4 hours of his vacation to make up the difference.

I don't understand the problem.

By your reasoning, unless I don't understand something, if one can negotiate (2 ) 20-hour shifts a week, and one of them falls on a holiday, they should get the whole 20 hours vacation time?
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: MarkD
Date: September 05, 2008 09:59PM
This is an interesting question. Some may hinge on the work schedule. Sounds like he works 3 days a week and a rotating day every 3 weeks?


It appears that the relevant North Carolina personnel policy is the following:

Workdays Above 8 hrs
Where a workday greater than eight hours has been established, all hours above 8 shall be charged to vacation leave to equalize holiday benefits.

This is taken from the North Carolina State Personnel Policies here:

[www.osp.state.nc.us]

Somebody should be able to explain state policy to him. If he does not have a union or professional organization, then HR or the NC state HR should be able to. He might also contact his local legislator or the NC DOL to be helpful. [www.nclabor.com]

Federal DOL is probably going to defer to NC DOL. Their concern is the federal overtime law and that does not seem in violation here. He might also consult an attorney--look for a lawyer that does Overtime suits or are members of the National Employment Law Assocation. They should be able to clear up the issue pretty quickly. Another source would be to call a local government employees union unit such as the American Federation of State Municipal Federal Employees. They should have a referral to a private lawyer.

Comp time normally must be used within a certain amount of time. Certain comp time provisions are only allowed for government employees. The personnel policy cited above should be very specific about what happens to the comp time. Sometimes it may be a use it or lose it or sometimes it must be converted to pay.

It is true that certain jobs/professions have differences before required OT kicks in. You must review NC law to determine when that happens or try the federal OT provisions found in article 29 of the US Code. Hope this helps.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: September 05, 2008 11:26PM
we have a similar problem where I work. The guys in the test lab work 4 10 hour days, but a holiday or vacation day is 8 hours. They make it work by putting in an extra 40 minutes a day that week, or some such nonsense.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: September 06, 2008 07:10AM
Quote
Racer X
we have a similar problem where I work. The guys in the test lab work 4 10 hour days, but a holiday or vacation day is 8 hours. They make it work by putting in an extra 40 minutes a day that week, or some such nonsense.

Thats sounds right. But he can't work to make up the time. with overtime, I guess he has a "special" situation. B/c HIS overtime doesn't kick in after 160 hours a month. His kicks in after 171 hours. B/c he works 14 12.25 hour shifts per month. So thats what they use to calculate his total work month. Even though the rest of the state gets overtime after 160 hours.

All that aside. In the end. if he has 12 (8 hour) holidays per year. He LOSES 48 hours of vacation.




__________________________________
Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: September 06, 2008 10:12AM
Actually, the 171 hours makes sense if you figure it is for a month. 160 hours would be 4 weeks time, Multiply it by 30/28 since the average month is actually longer than that, and you come out with 171 hours plus a fraction. Messed up, but it does work out to that, in fact almost identical to the result of 14 times 12.25 hours.

As for the holidays, does he or does he not get credit for comp time when one falls on a day he is not scheduled to work? Same for days he does work on a holiday? That would offset some of the use of vacation time during the course of a year for holidays he takes off when scheduled to work. Basically, 8 days of holidays are considered 64 hours of pay for all other state employees in NC. Unless there is a special provision passed to cover employees like him, or it gets negotiated in a contract, they are not going to give him or the other guards 96 hours of holiday pay. It is how it works for almost everyone else.

If it helps him or you grasp it better, think of the normal pay for the job being for a year of working so many hours total. For 52 weeks of 40 hours will be the total pay out of 2080 hours. So many hours get paid as "holiday" pay - 64, so many are paid as "vacation" - 40 times how ever many weeks he gets, and so many days of sick or personal time at 8 hours per day if he gets those. The rest is actual hours worked on the job. Overtime is for extra time worked or a bonus for working holidays in some cases. Or he might get comp time for holidays, they just add on to that base allocation of hours, or allow shifting from the actual holiday day.



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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: larochufako
Date: September 07, 2008 05:31PM
that is my brother talking for me.
I will try to explain why I am so pissed about losing my vacation time.
An 8 hour employee works 5 days a week, 20 days a month for 8 hours a day. I work 13 days a month for 12.25( sometimes more, but not very often)
At the end of a month the 8 hour employee builds 8 hours of vacation time and 8 hours of sick time. At my months end I build 3 hours of vacation time and 8 hours of six time. I have been working for the state for almost 18 months and I have 71 hours of vacation time built. Understand I was given 24 hours just for starting.
My holiday that I have to take only gives me 8 hours and burns my vacation time. What bugs me is the fact that every 12.25 hour working state employee is unrecognized and basically screwed out of their potential vacation earning. The holidays I get are not on the actual day of that holiday. As you can imagine the prison does not close so this christmas eve and christmas day I have to work. I get the holiday given to me at another time because the state is required to give me that day off.
I am sure there is nothing that can be done it just makes me feel better to bitch and complain.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: qdog
Date: September 09, 2008 09:09AM
larochufako come work for Va. we don't give prison employees the shaft like that.
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Re: how do you file a complaint with the state?
Posted by: iMe
Date: September 11, 2008 11:20AM
Does he work for the State of did they farm out the prisons to a contractor?
If State, the agency he needs to check with is North Carolina Department of Administration.
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