Can a piece work employee also be paid an hourly rate?

Our execs decided to accept work designated as a "special project" for an existing client. We pay home based employees to transcribe from recordings on a piece work basis. This project also includes transcribing from a recording, but due to the scope of work and the density of the quality and content of these recordings the execs want to pay the employees by the hour. This is a decision made to the employee's benefit because there are a lot more words over fewer pages, which would mean if they were paid at their standard piece work rate they would make less money. However, I seem to remember reading somewhere you can't pay a person using two different pay structures for the same kind of work. Keep in mind this only applies to a few employees, not all employees with the same job description/title.

So, finally, here is my question. Can you pay some of your piece work based employees both a piece work rate for their "regular" assignments and an hourly rate for a "special project" if the actual work they are doing is the same, transcribing from a recording?

If we can't then I will recommend to the executives they should simply pay at a higher per page rate for this project, rather than trying to incorporate hourly pay.


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