Service Technicians: What Your Employer Doesn’t Want You to Know About Overtime

Galvin B. Kennedy
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Galvin Kennedy is a founding partner of Kennedy Hodges. He focuses his practice to overtime and wage claims.

repair technician workingRepair technicians are often treated as second-rate employees, subjected to long work days without proper compensation for the work they complete. Repair technicians don't have a typical 9 to 5 job. They don't have a predictable schedule and cannot just leave in the middle of a job because they have worked too many hours. However, many employers attempt to pay them as such. These employers try to deprive repair technicians of the pay to which they are lawfully entitled by withholding overtime or convincing them that they are not eligible to receive overtime compensation.  

No matter what their pay structure, most repair technicians are eligible to receive overtime compensation.

  • If you are an hourly employee, you are non-exempt and, thus, entitled to receive overtime.
  • If you are a salary employee, you are still entitled to receive compensation for time worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
  • If you are paid on a piece rate basis, your hourly rate must be equal to or more than minimum wage. Therefore, if your work week is slow and you did not make enough to average minimum wage, then your employer must make up the difference. You are also eligible to receive overtime for time worked in excess of 40 hours per week. 

Repair technicians are to be paid for all work-related tasks, including:

  • Checking work orders, materials and supplies before going to your first job for the day;
  • Traveling to and from job sites and between job sites;
  • Waiting for customers;
  • Attending meetings;
  • Completing paperwork at home or in your car;
  • Maintaining work vehicles;
  • Attending training either through the Internet or in person;
  • Stocking vehicles with inventory and supplies.   

Many technicians are also victims of other overtime scams.  

Real Case Example 

We have aggressively represented technical workers recover back pay. In one active matter, the federal judge assigned to our case certified it as a national collective action. This means that over 2,200 technicians will be given the opportunity to recover their back overtime pay for up to three years. The claim alleges the copy and scanner repair technicians had to perform time-consuming activities prior to heading to their first job including:

  • logging into the company site from home every morning to check their jobs for the day,
  • troubleshooting the customers' particular problems, 
  • downloading software, 
  • ordering parts, 
  • checking other company email, 
  • making sure they had the right "trunk inventory."

The company, however, did not pay them for any of these home work activities or the drive time to the first job site. Instead, they employees were only paid when the arrived at the first customer site for the day. This is a clear violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. You may read the complaint and court orders about the case here.  

If you are a repair technician and have not been paid for all the hours you have worked, you need to speak with a labor lawyer. Contact our attorneys to schedule a free case review with a Houston overtime wage and hour lawyer today to ensure that you are receiving all the compensation to which you are lawfully entitled.

To learn more about proper wage and overtime compensation, order a FREE copy of 10 Biggest Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Wage & Overtime Claim. Written by the Houston overtime lawyers at Kennedy Hodges L.L.P., this book contains the wage and hour information that your employer doesn't want you to know.