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Will Minimum Wage Hikes Affect Auto Repair Shop’s Technician’s Pay?

Joe Marconi



There is been a lot of discussion lately across this nation about raising the minimum wage. I am not going to debate that issue today, but I will go on the record that I believe it may affect our industry and how we pay out technicians.


With companies such as Wall Mart, McDonalds, Starbucks, Chipotles, and many more increasing wages, this will send a message to the workforce that wages need to be more in line with the needs of the worker.


Pay scales for techs are all over the map depending on where you are in the country. But, the age old issue is that we need to attract quality entry-level people to our industry. With chatter that entry-level positions in the fast food chains and other big box stores may exceed $10.00 per hour and even reach $15.00, we need to take a look at what we pay our people.


The bottom line here is truly the “bottom line”. Shop owners cannot simply raise wages unless the shop’s profits are enough to support the raise. Shop owners need to take a long hard look at their pay plans and ensure that you offer competitive wages, but importantly, offer a work environment and career paths that will attract quality people.


Your thoughts?





Source: Will Minimum Wage Hikes Affect Auto Repair Shop’s Technician’s Pay?

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Let me fill you guys in on some facts of LAW and it will give you an idea on what shop owners, dealers and auto repair companies and franchises have been getting away with(illegally). By the way, good pay and benefits and job security WILL "attract quality people".


In California, the law requires an employer to pay a mechanic TWICE the minimum wage, which currently would be 18 dollars an hour.


Automobile Mechanics/Technicians Must Be Paid For Every Hour On-Duty.

Many automobile mechanics are paid based on a flat rate basis. This means that the mechanic is paid based on vehicles repaired and revenue generated, which is commonly calculated based on the number of hours flagged. However, some auto dealerships and repair facilities fail to pay all mandatory wages to flat rate mechanics. Automobile mechanics are entitled to be paid for all hours flagged PLUS be separately paid for all time at work when not flagging hours (such as waiting for work, downtime, shop clean up, attending meetings, free multi-point inspections, free diagnostic work, re-do repairs, unpaid repairs/work, test drives, time it takes to retrieve and return a car to the lot, driving to pick up parts, and any other time you are required to be at work but are not flagging hours). Additionally, you are entitled to be paid overtime wages for all hours on-duty in excess of 8 hours per shift and/or 40 hours per week.

Mechanics can generally recover unpaid wages up to 4 years prior to the filing of a lawsuit, and recovery penalties ranging from 1 year to 3 years.

  • Common examples of violations include:
  • If a mechanic spends two hours at the shop waiting for a vehicle to repair, the mechanic must be paid at least minimum wages for these two hours.
  • If a mechanic is allotted 4 hours to perform a repair and then receives no work for the other 4 hours in the shift, the mechanic is entitled to 4 hours of pay at the flat rate plus 4 hours of pay at the minimum wage rate.
  • If a mechanic flags 10 hours from 8am to 3pm, but has no work (or attends a meeting, etc) from 3pm to 5pm, the mechanic is entitled to 10 hours of pay at the flat rate plus 2 hours of pay at the minimum wage rate.
  • If a mechanic is required to redo a repair and the shop does not credit any flag hours toward the redo, the mechanic must be paid at the minimum wages for as long as it takes to complete the redo.
  • If a mechanic is on-duty for more than 8 hours in a shift (regardless of the hours flagged or time spent waiting for work), the mechanic must be paid time and a half for all additional time.
  • If a mechanic works 40 hours Monday through Friday, and works 6 hours on Saturday, all 6 hours worked on Saturday must be paid at the overtime rate.
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