Skip to comments.37.5 hour work week
Posted on 07/20/2013 5:31:08 AM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
My son recently started a job that has a 37.5 hour work week and asked me why 37.5 instead of 40? I couldn't really come up with a good answer. You could say it saves the employer money assuming they get the same amount of productivity but I don't know if that actually happens. Or it could be the person who founded the business came from a country where a 37.5 hour work week is more common than here in the USA. I did a lot of searching and found some companies transitioning to 37.5 but no real explanation as to why or what the advantage was. So I turn to the people who know it all, the Freepers, for answers.
Is 37.5 hours a week a part-time job or a full-time job, and will he be able to collect benefits?
5 30-minute lunches = 2.5 hours
40 - 2.5 = 37.5 hours
in a 40 hr week he isn’t getting paid to eat lunch
Two and a half hours a week multiplied by three shifts and by the number of employees saves the corporate weenies a lot of money for their golden parachutes.
Correct, one word answer: Obamacare.
Two words. OBAMACARE MANDATES
I think this is because of laws in California (and elsewhere I presume)
The employer wants to avoid paying overtime.
The law is, there is overtime above 8 each day. It seems to me therefore, the employer is moving the “work day” as a result to 7.5 / day.
This leaves a half hour buffer.
Seems to me, it is that simple.
this also allows a slightly higher perceived hourly rate for the actual time at the job.
a 40 hr $15/hour job = $600/wk
“paying” $600 for 37.5 translates as $16/hr
or looked at another way, an employer can pay $16/hr for 37.5 hrs instead of $15 for 40 hrs and it costs the same amt on a weekly basis
8 hour day with a 30 min unpaid lunch. Pretty common for non-exempts whose schedules need to sync with those of 8 hour a day exempts or who are in workplaces that for one reason or another need to be on strict 8 hour shifts or are only open 9-5. It also gives a bit of OT flexibility but companies that really want to avoid OT tend to have 30 or 32 hour base schedules.
He’s off the clock for his lunch time.
He will also find that he is required to take those lunches, and if he doesn’t he will be docked pay for them as if he had. This is federal law. He will be permitted only highly-regulated breaks.
The cell-phone restrictions are logical. They can be imposed for reasons of safety (to prevent workers from being distracted and injured) and security (not giving out details of operations to competitors) as well as productivity. Most people will never get anything done if they have access
to a smartphone.
Lunch breaks are unpaid for non-exempt employees according to the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
This looks like an 7-1/2 hour workday.
My guess if it is a factory, the base hours are 37.5 to prevent having to pay overtime if they need workers to work a couple of extra hours during a week. I have heard of this before.
He’s probably on wages. The salaried people probably work 8 hours per day, and take a half hour off for lunch, making their day 8-1/2 hours total. The wage earners probably use to do the same thing, but then some law said they had to get 15 minute breaks in the morning and afternoon. To keep things synchronized, and in stead of adding a half hour of work for the salaried employees, they cut the wage earners day by half an hour. Typical example of the government trying to improve the lives of the workers, but actually screwing them.
Everything the government decries, will hurt you, one way or another.
Fewer employees working 40 hour weeks costs the company less in benefits than more full-time employees working fewer hours.
He’s getting an unpaid 30 minute lunch / day. That’s all that it. I believe for purposes of 0bamacare it’s still considered full time.
Unlikely, unless there are a large number of sub-30 hour part timers in shop, and the company is very small. Obamacare impacts any company with more than 50 full-time equivalent workers, which it considers 30 hours or more.
Since this is a factory, it sounds like a 2.5 hour buffer between paying the hourly rate and time and half.
If the employer fine tunes things as described, I bet they punch a time clock also. Some do that today over their office computers.
Years ago all jobs at Merrill Lynch offices were 37.5 hours.
Why doesn’t he ask his company? Seems to be a fair enough question.
Federal law does not mandate meal breaks:
However, most state law does:
Also, meal breaks are defined in most union contracts.
An answer fit for Democratic Underground, raybbr.
If a 37.5 hour work week still gets the job done AND helps the company make MORE money, wouldn’t it be the fiduciary responsibility of the “corporate Weenies” to enact it?
I wonder if you are on the right site or if you should take that class warfare someplace else....
More than likely as others have said it is lunch. If the job runs 3 shifts then probably at one point they had a 20 min paid lunch. By going to a 30 min unpaid they only loose 10 min productivity but save 20 min pay each day. If they still had 8 hr work days with the 30 min unpaid lunch then they would end up with 2 people at most stations at shift changes for 30 min.
“My guess if it is a factory, the base hours are 37.5 to prevent having to pay overtime if they need workers to work a couple of extra hours during a week. I have heard of this before.”
I worked a 37.5 hour week at State Street Bank. And you’re right, it saves on overtime because you have to get to 40 to begin getting overtime.
In reality, though, it didn’t make any difference to me from my previous job. Instead of working 830-5 with an hour for lunch, I was working 9-5 with a half hour lunch. Then I got a job working 830-530 with an hour lunch. It all evens out.
it makes it a challenge for me to reach my clients if they cant take a phone call, just saying
Having been a factory worker, i would also venture to say overtime buffer. It’s sad but true.
I think that 37.5 hrs is considered part time so benefits wouldn’t have to be offered- such as retirement and insurance.
5 30-minute lunches = 2.5 hours
40 - 2.5 = 37.5 hours
in a 40 hr week he isnt getting paid to eat lunch
Correct. I had a 37.5 hr/week job back in 1972. The salaried people worked 40-plus hours/week but the wage-grunts were expected to AVOID overtime to save employer money. The salaried folks got paid the same for 40 hours or 50...
The company I worked for prior to the job I have now had a 37 ½ hour work week. We worked 8:30AM to 5:00PM with 1 hour unpaid lunch. Then the company (3rd party health insurance administrator and insurance broker) decided to move us to a 40 work week. We were told we could either work 8:00AM to 5:00PM with a 1 hour unpaid lunch or 8:30AM to 5:00PM with a half hour unpaid lunch but once you made the choice of which schedule you were going to work, it was permanent.
But the kicker was they told us that they were making an adjustment to our pay so that we would bring home the same amount of money on a weekly basis. Of course all of us, many of us were hourly, quickly saw this as a pay cut. But management kept insisting it wasnt since we were still bringing home the same weekly wage.
If arbitrarily cutting everyone's pay in half helps the company make more money wouldn't it....?
When I started my first job after I graduated from college in 1976 at Bell Labs they had 37.5 hour work weeks. After many years there they changed to 40.
Is it a plant that goes 24 hours a day? With a half hour lunch that would be three shifts.
Everyone I know who's salaried puts in more than 8 hours per day.
Our kid works for a Fortune 100, and he's salaried, but they have a policy that up to 45 hours per week is included in the salary. If they have weeks where they're putting in time, sometimes an extra 15 or so hours over the 45, then they get paid what their hourly wage would be for anything over the 45 hours.
But the rest of us who are salaried work more than 40...not complaining, pay is good, just sayin'.
Probably not as HCR mandates that workers who work an average of 30 hours per week must be eligible for "affordable" healthcare coverage.
Sounds like five days a week, eight hours a day less half an hour a day for lunch. I worked many years for a company that did this. Of course any of us on salary just worked 'til the work was done. For most of my life the clock has been a guide, not a slave master.
There are jobs that can rightfully be timed. For all jobs after beginning of the information revolution, common sense and mutual agreement between the employee and employer should be the guide.
The first place I worked about 25 years ago was a 37.5. We weren’t allowed on “the floor” until about 5-10 before the start of the shift, were expected to leave for 30 minutes, and couldn’t stay more than 5 minutes after the shift ended.
I temped at one point as a front desk person at a 200+ lawyer law firm. Not only were you required to leave for lunch, but you were relieved for some time in the morning and the afternoon as they didn’t want you leaving the reception area nor having more than a mug of tea or glass of water at the desk.
Non-exempts were I work are 40 hours + one hour for lunch. When I was non-exempt I want to go to one of the competitors because they are a 37.5 place and the 9 hour day can get really long. Salaried are expected to work 40 hours a week and have the same general schedule as the non-exempt employees. Of course several of us have weeks that are 50+ hours and then have a week or two where we really only need to be there about 20-30 hours.
Sixth response is Correct.
FReePers know it ALL!
3 shifts at 8 hours = 24 hours, add a half our lunch to all three shifts, that equals 24 hours on the clock, but 25.5 hours at the building. Simply remove 1/2 hour from each shift and you have seamless shift change with no overlap.
Now this would only work on a non automated, continuous flow, production line. With an automated production line some overlap is needed.
It’s what everyone said. It accounts for the 2.5 hours for 5 half hour lunches.
Then again, for those of us that are exempt, I don’t know anyone that works 40 hours. Personally I work a minimum of 55 hours a week and I eat lunch at my desk.
My company makes out big because between my partner and myself we work enough hours per week to justify a third employee which adds the cost of healthcare and other benefits.
they found a way to cut costs by not paying them for lunk breaks
I would love to see everyone move to 3 10-hour days
I would pretty much do anything if I could have 4 day weekends every week, and as for the 10 hour days, heck I would work my ass off for 10 hours
This model also eliminates Obamacare mandates AND if you are industrious you work 2 different jobs and double your income
No. Federal law does not require meal breaks:
Federal law does not require lunch or coffee breaks. However, when employers do offer short breaks (usually lasting about 5 to 20 minutes), federal law considers the breaks as compensable work hours that would be included in the sum of hours worked during the work week and considered in determining if overtime was worked. Unauthorized extensions of authorized work breaks need not be counted as hours worked when the employer has expressly and unambiguously communicated to the employee that the authorized break may only last for a specific length of time, that any extension of the break is contrary to the employer's rules, and any extension of the break will be punished.
Bona fide meal periods (typically lasting at least 30 minutes), serve a different purpose than coffee or snack breaks and, thus, are not work time and are not compensable.
But as magellan said; some states do (only about half) and it is usually in most union contracts. And some states mandate breaks for workers under 18 years old but dont for workers 18 and older although most employers for ease of administration will have the same meal and break rules for all workers.
So in short what the DOL says is that if you offer short breaks, say 2-10 minute breaks during an 8 hour day, you have to pay them for those breaks as worked hours but if you have a 30 minute meal break, you dont have to pay them for that time. But that is trumped by state law if the applicable state wage and hour laws are more generous to the worker. It always works that way and works that way regarding minimum wage if the fed min wage is $7.25 and the state min wage is $8.25 you follow the state minimum wage but if a state says the min wage is $6.25 (and yes there are a few state with lower or no minimum wage) you follow the federal $7.25 minimum wage.
As far as docking workers for not taking an unpaid meal break if they actually worked through it is a big No-No everywhere, period, no exceptions. Employers must pay non-exempt workers for all time worked. Where I work, a manufacturer, if a non-exempt plant worker doesnt take their unpaid meal break, we have to adjust their time card if the time clock auto deducts that time. We also require their supervisor to make a notation on their time card that the worker was authorized to work through their meal break. If the worker was not authorized to work through their meal break or works past their schedule and or overtime or fails to punch in or punch out, we still have to pay them for the time worked, but it becomes a disciplinary issue, they are assessed points just as we do for punching in too early or punching out late or calling out without sufficient notice. Once they accumulate a certain number of points during a one year period, they are terminated and this is clearly spelled out in the employee handbook and strictly and consistently enforced.
This isn’t about Obamacare. If it was, his hours would drop below 30. Above 30 is still considered “full-time” by the government. You mention a plant, so this is probably about unions. It’s likely a concession to shorten the work day was negotiated as some part of a union contract and that is probably how this oddity happened.
Although, I have known IT jobs where the 40-hour work week was tweaked to fit around 12-hour shifts or 10-hour shifts and, in some cases, the worker did 36 hours one week and 44 the next but averaged to 80 in a two-week paycheck.
Just be thankful he has a job and is getting paid well enough to keep the household afloat.
20 odd years ago I worked for a large national firm, then went to work for a competitor firm. Both had 37.5 hour work weeks. This not something new, obviously.
Less than 40hrs. the employer doesn’t have pay benefits also that Obamacare thing.
Beginning January 1, 2015, under the shared responsibility requirement, all employees working an average of 30 hours per week or more in a month must be eligible for affordable coverage or the employer may be subject to a penalty. This is because the new law considers employees who work 30 hours or more to be full-time employees.
It also had always depended on what the company defines as full-time for purposes of benefits and an employer doesnt have to define full-time as 40 hours per week. When I worked for a company with a 37 ½ work week, we were considered full-time and had full-time benefits. I would think that if the majority of a companys employees worked a standard 37 ½ work week theyd be considered full-time and eligible for benefits otherwise if subject to compliance with a qualified section 125 plan, theyd probably fail the ant-discriminatory testing and that was the case long before HCR. In fact the company I work for offers full-time benefits for workers working 30 or more hours per week and has for many years.
The challenge for us under HCR is that we have to now consider what the average number of hours an employee works so that if someone is on a 25 hour per week schedule but actually works 30 or more hours on average, we have to consider them full-time for purposes of benefit eligibility and can be penalized for not doing so. That means that for many employers like retailers who employ many part-time workers, the employer is going to make damned sure they dont work an average of 30 hours, ever and are probably going to cut their hours far below 30 as to not have to offer benefits.
It is that simple.Limit the overtime.
A 37.5 hour work week was standard at my 1990s job,and mandatory 45 minutes unpaid lunch.
Yep, and I learned that back in the 1970s, although I don't think it applied to each day, but the buffer was for the week.
I believe California’s is by the day (should know but am not sure)
It is a bit more restrictive anyway.
Well a great start to prove your point. I just heard that anything less than 40 hours is considered P/T - okay fine, you proved your point. Have a nice day.
I predict restaurants, and other small business, to offer employees three 10 hour shifts, or some combination to get under 30 hours per week.
Other employees will fill in the daily gaps, or work two 10 hour shifts on the week end.
Heck, a temp agency will find you those extra 10 hours as employers scramble to get everyone under 30 hours
For large companies, I forecast more clerical employees will face a 20-25 hour week. Two clericals @ 20 will replace one at 40 plus
Sounds good to me, if they can get the same quality product with workers paid half as much.
It’s not arbitrary: it’s good business sense.
The job market is like any other market. Supply and demand. If they can cut wages in half and still find people willing to do the job, they should. In a free market, some competitor will attract better talent by offering higher wages and a better product. If you don’t like the reduced wages, get a better job.
You really are a closet lefty, aren’t you?
Go get Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations to learn the importance of those “corporate weenies” accumulating wealth. It’s what drives the job market, NOT higher wages.