General Question

DeborahWilliamsRN's avatar

Is it legal to hire a RN at one wage but pay minimum wage for state mandatory orientation?

Asked by DeborahWilliamsRN (13points) September 16th, 2010

I am a nurse who has moved back to MI from FL after 38 years and one raised family later. I was hired a month ago by a home care agency that accepts medicaid insurance almost exclusively; therefore greatly lowering the hourly wage (several $ an hour). Employees as in any healthcare situation are required to attend inservices and company education and policy updates and meetings. I was informed after 10 hrs. of mandatory office hours that I would only be paid min. wage for any mandatory office hours. Pay checks are weekly yet I was not paid on the pay date and can’t get a straight answer as to when my pay will come. Also , I was informed that I wauld go to work after this “orientation” but over a month later I am still waiting for a call to work. I am experienced with infants and children on ventelators and was told this would be my assignment. I proved my competency via demonstration and written test to the company as is required per policy.

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6 Answers

Kayak8's avatar

I would call the nursing board in Michigan to get answers to the particulars of your situation. It may also help to find the body that reviews/inspects home health agencies as they may also have some jurisdiction over this type of situation. Both appear to be controlled by the Michigan Department of Community Health. Check this link.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I would do as @Kayak8 mentions w about calling the board of nursing. When you call them, I would also ask them about the company you are working for. Depending on the rules in your state, they are probably allowed to pay whatever wages they want as long as it meets minimum wage (as far as I know states don’t have special pay rates for nurses that are mandatory).

I would also contact the BBB about the company you are working for. The fact that you haven’t received your first pay check is a huge red flag for me. Something seems to be off about their business practices. I hope you get it straightened out soon.

BarnacleBill's avatar

It sounds like you are being treated as a contract worker. Did you fill out a W-2 with them or a 1099?

It is a problem that they didn’t disclose the wage issue before you signed on with them, but whether or not it’s legal would require an attorney to determine if you have standing to sue.

MrItty's avatar

Did you sign a contract specifying you’d be paid at a specific wage for this mandatory training? If not, they can pay you whatever they want.

marinelife's avatar

I would look for another job. Start as you mean to go on is what is at work here, and this company has demonstrated that they are not playing straight with you.

jca's avatar

it sounds like bullshit to me. if they were a fair employer, they would have informed you of the difference in wages prior to your starting. they should have laid the cards on the table so to speak, and let you decide if that is something you want to deal with.

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