Re: FWD: Seeking assistance-contract rates

Subject: Re: FWD: Seeking assistance-contract rates
From: Jo Francis Byrd <jbyrd -at- byrdwrites -dot- com>
To: "Scudder, Beth" <beth_scudder -at- retek -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2000 08:41:17 -0600

I've had a few contracts which paid time and a half, but most pay straight time.
One of the first things I ask is whether this job requires overtime (as in,
Pul-LEASE break my heart and say, 'No") and is it straight time or overtime.
Just so I know the parameters up front. I don't like nasty surprises.

However, I did run into a "gotcha" once, and it caused no end of grief. The shop
paid on a two week basis and I turned in a signed time sheet every two weeks.
One week something came up and I only worked 37 hours, so I worked 43 hours the
next week to end up with 80 hours for the two weeks. Mistake! The shop paid
overtime (which I didn't know beforehand, it never occured to me to ask, the
contract stipulated 40-hour work weeks, pay every two weeks and I made the
mistake of assuming a two week, 80 hour work period), and I got time and a half
for those three hours, never mind I was shy three hours the week before! They
calculated the rate by the week and not the pay period. The client never forgave
me the few extra bucks that cost them. Typical of large companies, they could
squander jillions then go ballistic over pennies.

Jo Byrd

Elna Tymes wrote:

> "I've never heard of a contract for technical writing that paid overtime. My
> experience has been that 40 hrs/week is what's expected, although there may be
> more or less at times. The client may actually want more hours from a
> contractor, especially in the view of some that contractors are there only for
> special
> purposes and that 40 hrs/wk is part of the game for them."

And Beth Scudder replied:

> Well, at my last contract I did work overtime hours for time and a half pay. I
> believe that Minnesota's legislature gives an hourly cap to time and a half:
> if you make below approximatley $25/hour, you must be paid time and a half for
> overtime; if you make above that, it's up to your employer. I had to get
> approval from the client to work the overtime, and it took a lot of fighting
> to get the approval, primarily because the client didn't want to cough up the
> money to pay me time and a half. And now, getting the contract house to
> actually *pay* me the time and a half has turned into a month-long battle
> which is probably shortly going to involve legal threats, but that's another
> story.
> Anyway, it looks like the policy and laws on this vary from state to state, so
> you should probably check your state's laws and find out what applies to you.

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