Janitor earns six-figure annual income taking advantage of overtime pay
- A San Francisco-based BART janitor brought home $276,121.07 in wages in 2015 – or 10 times the annual median income for others in his field, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Many low-paid wage earners work overtime to boost their pay, but the janitor worked more than 4,000 hours in 2015. He simply took advantage of overtime pay laws.
- By living in an expensive city like San Francisco, the janitor’s annual base pay was $57,945.87, much higher than the average median for most janitors. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay workers 1.5 times their hourly wage rate for every hour worked beyond a 40-hour week. Therefore, he worked 1,821.53 hours based on time and a half, 601 hours in double time, 63 hours working on holidays and 1,420.73 hours based on his regular workweek. He added $162,050.06 to his annual base pay.
- The janitor isn’t alone in earning a massive income beyond his base pay. Three of his coworkers also are earning nearly as much, about $200,000 annually.
Is the janitor a hardworking person that deserves the pay he earned or unfairly taking advantage of a work opportunity? A spokesperson from his company said that he worked hard for the money and that if he hadn’t taken advantage of the company's overtime rule, someone else would have (the system has shifts open for people to work fairly often). A BART rider, however, said she was "appalled" by the idea due to the taxpayer money that goes into the BART system. Companies must consider whether it’s fair for one person or a few people to have more opportunities to work overtime than others.
The janitor already is eligible for overtime, so the new rule doesn’t apply to him. Nor does it currently apply to exempt or salaried workers classified as executive or administrative. But the new rule is set to push the wage minimum threshold for exempt workers from $455 a week to $913 by Dec. 1. The janitor’s overtime earnings and a possible increase in the wage minimum threshold could put a heavy financial squeeze on employers.