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  • VA docs, change to hourly from salary

    Can anyone explain to me how this recent change from salary to hourly, is legal? Basically, we are now hourly employees who are paid to be available 24/7, so if we work more than our typical schedule (for me, that is 8-4:30), we do not get any compensation for this. If I work until 6:30 one day, but take 2 hours off in the middle of the day to attend a doctor's appt, I do not get credit for making that time up and I still have to use 2 hours of sick leave. I do not necessarily get a lunch break, or scheduled breaks during the day. No compensation for working above the 40 hour work week. How can we be classified as hourly employees but not be paid overtime or given breaks during the day as all other hourly employees? I really am just looking for some clarity here . . . I also heard that Trump put in a request of some sort so that PA's and NP's are compensated the same as MD's. Maybe that's just a rumor though.

  • #2
    They have made you into a salaried employee but they are defining it as hourly? That doesn't sound right at all - given it's the VA, not sure what you can do. otoh, employers must comply with state wage and hour laws. Scrolling down to UT at that link (isn't that where you live?), it appears you would have to turn to FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). FAQs in UT.
    Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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    • #3
      Federal government isn’t necessarily subject to state labor law.

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      • #4
        Do you have any link explaining the change?

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        • #5
          The va doctors should join the federal union.   They are really getting ridiculous over there in the va. I know that over the past 5-10 years, they have been having va doctors punch in and punch out so that you have to be there even if there is no work to be done.    They really should be paying you overtime if you are putting in more then 40 hours a week.   The problem is that the union for the federal government only looks out for the non-physician employees and leaves the physician employees out by themselves.   Be careful what you do while you are on their computer systems there too, I have heard that they have really cracked down on people surfing the web while they are supposed to be working too.

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          • #6




            Federal government isn’t necessarily subject to state labor law.
            Click to expand...


            Yes, but doesn't it have to follow federal law? The rule is apparently whichever is stricter, state or federal. Recognize, of course, that you are the attorney, not moi! Fighting the VA sounds like a tall order.
            Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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            • #7


              I have heard that they have really cracked down on people surfing the web while they are supposed to be working too.
              Click to expand...




              so that you have to be there even if there is no work to be done.
              Click to expand...


              I would not complain too much if only one of these things happened.  But asking you to do nothing at work and restrict internet that is ridiculous.

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              • #8
                I don't think the VA needed any more reasons for people to not work there if this is true.

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                • #9
                  Docs used to only be able to take leave in one day increments. Now they can take leave in hourly increments. So if I want to catch a plane at 2 pm on a Friday, I used to have to take the full day off, now I can take a half day and save the other half day for later use. To me that's a positive.

                  There was a policy that in extenuating circumstances physicians could work a partial day (at least 5 hours) and have it count as a full day. I can count on one hand the number of times I used this--e.g. When I found out at 2:30 pm my grandfather had died one of my colleague graciously saw my last 2 patients so I could leave. Any other employee would have had to enter leave for the 2 remaining hours but as a physician since I couldn't take hourly leave I didn't have to. So now I would. I think the change probably came because too many physicians took advantage of that policy and came up with "extenuating circumstances" on a way too frequent basis.

                  I have never heard of anyone needing to "clock in and clock out". Every doc I know gets a lunch break. My workload is reasonable. I am always out the door on time unless there is a project I want to work on or I am working with a particularly slow/inefficient resident who needs extra help. I have never heard of any doc getting in trouble for surfing the web--I guess if you do it all day...but wouldn't you agree that surfing the web all day at work is irresponsible?

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                  • #10
                    And as far as "over the past 5-10 years they've made docs punch in and punch out so you have to be there even if there's no work to be done"...10 years ago some docs would just block their clinic if it was a nice day, and cancel patients. The behavior at some locations was egregious. POS lazy doctors who didn't GAF would come and be dead weight. They would do the bare minimum for patients and call it a day. And access was a huge issue as a result. I have seen amazing change in the 8 years that I've been there. It's hard to fire people but if you tighten up policies that the lazy scumbags were abusing the lazy scumbags leave. And good riddance. Of course it hurts those of us who were only going to use the more lenient policies when appropriate, but that's the way it goes. Personally I would rather not have those lazy docs as my colleagues.

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                    • #11
                      IIRC - >1/2 day worked = no leave counted was the rule for us.  So worked AM session, but got sick and then left; PM wouldn't count on leave.   This was taken taken advantaged of by some folk to have their own physician appts made in the PM and not count towards their leave -- especially during pregnancy was a large hot-topic because of the mere frequency at the end of term.   This new policy simply sucks in that case because Federal family leave remains arcane at best.

                      Web surfing    Youtube streaming probably more troublesome especially if you're running a few video visits in the clinic.   That's what's going to get one into trouble faster than the amount of time.

                       

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                      • #12
                        Anne - if you’ve seen one VA you’ve seen one VA. I worked at the VA here several years ago and workload was excessive, doc’s had no control, specialists simply refused to see patients based on chart review, etc. from what I hear life is no better but direct management is slightly improved. Haven’t heard about these hourly issues. Will have to ask.

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                        • #13
                          But Anne, how do you really feel?

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                          • #14
                            I do have  FAQ pdf that I could attach, but do you think that's OK?

                             

                            We were told that we could join the union, pay the dues and get the perks like discounts at costco or something, but that they do not represent us in any type of employment matters.

                            I never would have believed it until I experienced it, but there is such a thing as having too little to do at work. . .

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                            • #15




                              I do have  FAQ pdf that I could attach, but do you think that’s OK?

                               

                              We were told that we could join the union, pay the dues and get the perks like discounts at costco or something, but that they do not represent us in any type of employment matters.

                              I never would have believed it until I experienced it, but there is such a thing as having too little to do at work. . .
                              Click to expand...


                              Well---then the VA got its value out of our clinic docs tenfold.

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