Enterprise Software

Are salaried employees entitled to overtime pay?

It's a common assumption that salaries workers can be asked to work overtime without being compensated extra. That assumption is not always true.

It's a common assumption that salaries workers can be asked to work overtime without being compensated extra. That assumption is not always true.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's not whether you're salaried but whether you meet the test for exempt status as defined by federal and state laws. An employee that is exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act is not entitled to overtime.  An employee that is non-exempt from FLSA is entitled to overtime. The official stance is:

A salaried employee must be paid overtime unless they meet the test for exempt status as defined by federal and state laws, or unless they are specifically exempted from overtime by the provisions of one of the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders regulating wages, hours and working conditions.

If you are salaried and are non-exempt, then you can calculate your overtime pay like this:

  1. Multiply the monthly remuneration by 12 (months) to get the annual salary.
  2. Divide the annual salary by 52 (weeks) to get the weekly salary.
  3. Divide the weekly salary by the number of legal maximum regular hours (40) to get the regular hourly rate.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Get career tips in your inbox

TechRepublic's IT Career newsletter, delivered Tuesday and Thursday, features insight on important IT career topics, including interviewing, career advancement, certifications, and job changes. Automatically sign up today!

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

176 comments
computechbuzz
computechbuzz

Non-exempt employees must be paid at least the minimum wage. The employer is required to pay a base hourly wage for both exempt and non-exempt employees.

Reading the blogs related to FLSA guidelines will be an easy and effective way to ensure managers and employees understand the requirements of the law and their role in compliance. Here's the one such reference blog - http://www.replicon.com/olp/flsa-compliance

emanuel.matos
emanuel.matos

We are unionized where I work and our collective agreement entitles us to paid overtime. It specifically says that salaried employees are entitled to overtime pay at time-and-a-half when their work exceeds 37.5 hours per week. Should overtime exceed 7.5 continuous hours or should they work on a Sunday after having worked all day on a Saturday, they are entitled to double-time pay.

mdiaz
mdiaz

Exempt means exempt from Overtime (OT). It may surprise some people that even if you make over $27.63 per hour, if you do (essentially) computer support work you are NOT exempt, regardless of what your employer says. However, even if you make LESS THAN $27.63 per hour and are a programmer, systems developer, software engineer, etc., you ARE Exempt form overtime and will not be paid OT rates even if you work 80 hours a week! I know FLSA law very well and there are many inconsistancies regarding how employers classify jobs, and apply Exempt or Non-exempt status to jobs.

Lazarus439
Lazarus439

The "Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders" are a creature of the state of California and thus have no status on anyone in any other state, desires of the state government notwithstanding. (Once upon a time, CA tried to levy income tax on the retirement payments of anyone who ever lived in the state, regardless of where they were currently living. It eventually lost the battle, but not before a lot of billable hours were racked up.) What is the answer to this every interesting question for those of us lucky enough to live outside of CA?

michael.spinney
michael.spinney

According to "exempt" rules, regulations, labor laws, etc,, salaried employees are not entitled to overtime. What is unfortunate is that companies have leveraged this and people's professional approach to their careers and are in essence stealing. They are stealing time from their employees; and time is money. If the reverse were happening, and employess were working 10-15 hours less than the norm of 40 hours per week, certainly everyone would view that as unexceptable behavior. Why?, because its stealing. However, it has become exceptable practice for companies to steal from employees.

paul.doherty
paul.doherty

Salary is not supposed to be the differentiator of overtime pay or not, and companies have abused it for a long time. Job roles and responsibilities are what determine it. If your job involves managing others you are typically exempt from overtime pay. At the time of the Fair Labor Standards Act being salaried was nearly synonymous with these responsibilities and so most people connected them logically. Now companies pay people salary specifically to avoid paying overtime due to this continued misunderstanding. It should be stopped.

greg_brance@yahoo.com
greg_brance@yahoo.com

Well I work in California which has fairly strict laws in regards to Overtime vs exempt. I did spend several years as a exempt employee and then about 2-years ago everyone in the IT department on the Operations side was made hourly. Overall I love it. When I work extra hours I get paid for all the hours I work. When I am on-call I get standby time plus the minimum call out time is 3-hours. I find being hourly tends to impose realistic expectations on upper management. Can you get this project done in a week? Sure but it is going to require me to work 20-extra hours of overtime in order to get it done in that timeline are you ok with that? Usually most of the time it becomes no that is ok I will move back the deadline. I lost some flexibility with being hourly but my pay-check has been much bigger.

pmwork1
pmwork1

Here in Australia, we have different Labor laws which usually include a document called an Award, (Contract). Many professional jobs state that you should work "reasonable" overtime. Not defined very well and often abused. I believe you should get paid andmake sure that it is written into your contract.

tomcat
tomcat

If you are a salaried employee there should be in your agreement words that detail the expectation for overtime. The words such a reasonable overtime are subjective and open to extremes in interpretation. I think reasonable may be 4 hours a week. My boss may think something very different. Always seek to have this clarified when starting a new job. If you don't work any overtime as a norm and then there is an expectation to work a lot then this is not the norm. If the ground rules are set up in your agreement correctly, it will specify what is expected and over and above that there should be a mechanism to pay for extra hours even if it is at a flat rate. This is an all too common problem within industry. It also causes problems when a particular skill set of employees is required to work extended hours and others are not required. The pay structure has to be fair. Important for employee retention etc.

Kostaghus
Kostaghus

Bad laws! There's such a thing as The International Labour Organization. Since it is an UN Organization, its regulations should be compulsory for all member states. There are such regulations stipulating that, regardless of the type of employment or status, no worker whatsoever can be forcibly compelled to work more than 8 hours per day. After all, during the 18th and 19th century people died to achieve this.- Furthermore, no such overtime can go unpaid. Payment shall be at least equal to the hourly payment for the rest of the worktime. In most countries, it is prohibited to exceed 10 hours of work per day for a total of 48 hours a week. In any case, paid as it may be, such overtime is also compulsorily compensated with free resting time. The states of the world enforce such regulations because overworking leads to disability and disease. Thus, the working person ceases being a contributor to the social security system and becomes a liability. Therefore, the state starts paying that person instead of that person paying the state, as a result of mere corporative greed. For once, state is good for something...

jerimys
jerimys

According the US gov under the Administrative exemption, "computer network, Internet and database administration" workers are exempt from overtime when paid more than $455 per week and primarily work "directly related to management or general business operations". http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/regs/compliance/fairpay/fs17c_administrative.pdf Sounds like a loophole to cover quite a few IT workers, especially in smaller shops where we wear multiple hats.

aprince31
aprince31

I retired from the Federal Government after 29 years, most of which I was "exempt." Going by the HR director's definition earlier in this forum, I should not have been exempt as I had no managerial or important decision making authority. I did provide advice to the decision makers, though. All this said, I was supposed to receive "comp time" in accordance with the local union contract. Somehow, the "comp time" never was possible. The only times I had to work overtime was when some boss invented a crisis to be solved and that was far too often. Just as a "for instance," I was required to work overtime through two weeks including weekends (264 hours total time plus OT) so the boss could know how many "widgets" to put in the fifth year out budget plan. I got a total of 2 days off for this effort. That is one of the reasons I retired at the earliest date possible.

pdf6161
pdf6161

The government position is retarded. If I need to do some extra work over the weekend because the system goes down on a Friday, I should have the ability to choose to do that whenever it best works into my schedule, not be required to wait until after the week gets over Saturday night at midnight so that I can do my comp time during the same week as the extra work. The idea behind a salary is that there is a certain amount of work to be done, and it is worth a certain amount of money, and the employee is a responsible sort of person who can be trusted with flexibility in when he gets that work done. I've found in general that government policies designed to protect me from my employer work to my disadvantage. What was it Reagan said? "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

tinyang73
tinyang73

That's what we get, but that is the trade off of being a salaried employee where I work.

john.hellmann
john.hellmann

Boeing in Seattle a few years ago lost a MAJOR lawsuit and had to pay millions in back 'overtime' in just this issue. Regardless if you're salaried, if they treat your employment as if you're an hourly worker (punching time clocks, set lunch periods, etc) then you are entitled to overtime just like an hourly employee. Teachers know this too, if they ask you to stay longer than the contracted day, they HAVE to pay you for it, even though a teacher is by contract a 'salaried' employee.

kandrolewicz2
kandrolewicz2

Well, if our employees who were considered to be "salaried" worked their 8 hours a day in the first place, I would consider this an option.

mosheb
mosheb

Not in the US. In most countries where employees have rights, (i.e. west europe, canada) they are getting overtime compensation as: 1) 125% for the first 2 hours 2) 150% if more then 2 hours 3) 200% for weekends and holidays

jackintheback
jackintheback

despite conditions? my time is worth money? Guaranteed, I can accrue damages, that can be valued. If my dad paid me for each fish I caught, can I charge him overtime? mabey if I tell mom he did something haineous to me. . .but that's not overtime pay, its damage compensation. if you catch a fish, you get 50??. if you loose a hook,that's 5?? that you lost. What does your dad get out of this? QUALITY TIME. It doesn't pay in a business world. quality is a liability, and a closeley scrutinized liability. Sorry for the analogy. . .not many people have both parents nowadays. . ."my bad"?

wamorita
wamorita

Toni, An easier way to calculate your hourly rate is to divide annual salary by 2080, the standard figure used to compute full-time equivalents.

meixman
meixman

Every year we see more and more suicides, every day there are more and more prescriptions written for anti-depressants, hardly anyone is friendly anymore... we all work harder than ever to make ends meet. It was the kind of thinking that dreamed up exempt status that put us here as a country. Until there are some real laws, with teeth, that truly require ALL workers to be paid for their time and efforts adequately, we will continue to spiral like this. But that change takes all of us to stand up and fight for it. Exempt status is a carbuncle on the hiney of our society (oh yeah, I said "hiney!"), kind of like Carrot Top. We really do need to stamp it out. I'll start with voting. Viva la revolucion!!!

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

As this is not solely a US website though, in other countries you ARE entitled to overtime with a FEW minor exceptions. An employer can ask you to sign an averaging agreement, in which case you don't have to get OT, but that really only applies ot a couple of specific job types like real estate agents and one or two other professions. The agreement has to be singed and replaced with a new one every year, this is usually enough to make most employers just avoid the agreement and pay the OT anyway. Other than that, regardless of your employment status and pay system, you are entitled to OT if you work more than 8 hours on any given day, or more than 40 hours in one week. This is strictly enforced by our Employment Standards branch and complaints are addressed immediately, as I have found first hand myself. I had an employer once who looke dfor OT all teh time and would dock you if you were 20 minutes late, I tracked all hours and when I left the company, I went to ESB and they reclaimed over $8K in unpaid overtime, plus fines for their not paying out as mandated. You guys in the US always seem to have it tougher than others when it comes to employment, it seems that employers call the shots, demand unreasonable certifications and expectations, pay low wages and you get the short end of the stick. Overtime wages: http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/e/96113_01.htm#section40 Averaging agreement: http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/e/96113_01.htm#section37 As you can see, the averaging agreement is a whole mess of paper and clauses to wade through. I had one employer forced to use one (someone complained to Employment Standards), but by the time it had been ironed out by his lawyer to cover the correct procedures for services and sales staff, it was tossed out and they just paid the OT to save potential problems.

mark.silvia
mark.silvia

There have been cases where I was an exempt and salaried employee and many cases I had to work overtime or over a weekend. I negotiated with my employer to give me comp time (additional vacation days). This generally is a win-win situation because during slow times you take vacation and avoid possible layoffs and when they really need overtime work, you are more likely to be more motivated because you know that you will be compensated for your extra work. Most employees I've worked with was happy do this for me. If your employer is forcing you to work tons of overtime and not compensate you. Then you need to calculate your hourly pay (Pay = ( / (12*52*)) and compare that along with vacation and other benefits. Chances are, it may be time to update your resume and look for another job. Other cases, you may already be paid a generous salary to compensate for all the overtime.

jgeith
jgeith

Here is the US Dept of Labor guideline. http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/regs/compliance/fairpay/fs17a_overview.pdf My own general observation is that this has been the core of companies thinking they can "own" IT people. The companies that provide some balance of pay/OT/Comp Time versus workload are the ones that do not have turnover problems. The ones that think they have free will to screw people are the ones that are poorly staffed. Jason Hiner has an article addressing the current and forecast IT shortages. My view that this goes right back to abuse of the exempt status.

JonathanPDX
JonathanPDX

I think that so long as the employee is not abused hour-wise, there should be no need. However, some employers use "exempt" as a way to simply have a 24/7 lackey at their beck and call. For those, overtime should definitely be an option.

bigbigboss
bigbigboss

There are several issues with this. 1. Legal - what is required by law. That is, what is the minimum the employers need to do, and what can employees pursue with legal action. This varies by jurisdiction. Some stricter than others. And you have to check whether the company has to comply with national level, state/provincial level, or local/regional laws. 2. Company policies Whether your manager/supervisor/hr/payroll people are in compliance with company policies. This is, of course, varies with company. 3. Management practices What is a good management practice ? Not paying OT encourages bad staff management. It allows managers/supervisors to plan their work program and staffing poorly. Corporations should insist that employees be paid OT, and it come out from individual department/division/organizations budget, not a corporate pool of overtime money. And the OT should be at least 1.5 times normal salary, if not 2x and 3x. It is well known that an overworked employee is not productive. It is not just during the OT time. It is the weeks after that. 4. Ethical/Moral/Fairness This is, of course, theoretical and depends on individuals value systems. To be fair, why should "salaried" people not paid OT ? "Wage" or "Salary" are just methods of calculating the paycheque. Nothing more. You can use either, as long as OT is paid. The other issue is why should the failure for management to properly plan work and manage staff level become a burden on the employee ? May be the managers/supervisor demanding OT should pay the OT out of their own pocket. 5. Administrative Who initiated the OT ? Did the manager/supervisor demanded that the employee to work ? Did the employee just want to stay late to finish off something ? Did the employee decided to stay late to meet a dead line ? Was the deadline reasonable ? What was the understanding about OT when the employee was hired to the position ? All of these should be considered in the management practice, and for employee to consider what to ask for, or whether there should be a change of scenery.

john3347
john3347

The root of this issue needs to back up one step. Many, many salaried positions should not be salaried positions. If an employee is required to be at a certain workstation a specified number of hours or on a specific schedule, they should not be salaried. With very a few exceptions, only someone in a (usually) managerial position who is paid to make a department, or company, or corporation function properly and profitably should be salaried to begin with. If these basic rules were followed, salaried workers would not be entitled to overtime and non-salaried workers would. This would mean that most direct supervisory jobs that typically are salaried would no longer be a salaried position.

dunnr
dunnr

This isn't a question of law, so yes, absolutely salaried employees should get overtime if specifically requested to work. Whether it's at a regular hourly rate (as opposed to time & half) or by comp time, anyone who has to account for their time should be compensated for REQUIRED overtime. Accounting for time could be a trivial as signing a time sheet, or, in a more structured job setting, allocating time to different projects. The problem comes in when the overtime is 'required' in a more subtle way. i.e. it's 'expected' without compensation. There oughta be a law!

dbecker
dbecker

It was a former President who signed into law for the United States that any IT Person making more than some amount of money was exempt. Period. Now being exempt can have great privileges. However -- and this is a reality -- after working 10, 12, 15 hours alone and every Sunday for months because I was the only one to do the work on the IBM Mainframe and it had to be done [and my manager admitted it was because of his own bad planning], my immune system was shot and it took me two years to recover [and I still have some problems]. I had a lot of sick leave after that [this year, I have a perfect record.] I never really got my time back either. Since my dad was a county road crew foreman and I grew up around the county shop, I recognize the need for personal commitment to duty, especially when it is a matter of public trust. HOWEVER. When bad management and, worse, greedy aggressive managers [which is sort of the same thing], leverage their workers for their own benefit for the sake of the career and their own personal bottom line, the well becomes very empty. Personally, I see no benefit for risking my own health and the welfare of my family for limited selfish goals of others who actually do damage to the county where I work. Loyalty is totally inappropriate. So I work my hours and I do so for the benefit of the county. I do a good job. But I'm not giving a lot extra these days. Nevertheless, a great deal has been stolen and my taking a few minutes here and there [and in the bigger picture, not stealing, since I've worked the extra long ago], is not something that hurts my conscience a lot. Now explain this: We've been spending 3 full FTEs for building a time track system to account for everything we do down to .25 of an hour each day. That's over $300,000 per year [including the benefits] just to build the time track system [which keeps getting changed because the managers can't make up their minds how to use it and what to get out of it], let alone management time always fiddling with it and the extra time it takes in productivity loss to figure out the @#$%!&$*! categories for objects and billing codes and such things. If we are exempt, then WHY, do pray tell, WHY, do we have to have such stringent time accounting? Management not trust us? No wonder. We certainly don't trust them.

Skimeister
Skimeister

If you have a contract (i.e. a professional union) overtime is a subject for negotiation. You can get paid the straight hourly wage and sometimes an addition amount depending on your contract. Most companies like unpaid overtime since it is "free" to them; if your time is worthless then continue to enjoy the long hours away from friends and family.

dbottomley
dbottomley

Many years ago, before Polaroid went public, manufacturing worked 13-days straight then 1-day off. Salaried employees were paid 1-day's pay for each day over 5 per week, plus a shift bonus if you worked the second or third shift. We practically lived at the plant and the extra money definitely helped. DonB

lmimsno
lmimsno

Your pay should be the same no matter how many hours you work.

steveparamore
steveparamore

Wellll.......hell no!!....and this is not a case of "penis" envy. I have been both an hourly and a salaried employee several times. Many perks go along with a salaried position; i.e. time to run errands without burning up your precious annual vacation time!.....but, overtime should not (and usually isn't)one of them! jmho

mousejn
mousejn

This is a lot of discussion about who can get overtime and who can't. Check with national and state labor relations board. Most employers don't know what the rules are and are not following them correctly. I have been involved with several companies that didn't pay overtime until someone turn them in. They had to paid heavy fines and back pay.

nimster
nimster

I am exempt employee. Depending on what sort of project I am supporting, I sometimes get overtime pay, however I usually have to put in a number of hours for free (5) before that happens. I also have received monetary recognition awards for meeting schedules when there was no overtime pay, or was able to "bank" overtime hours to use at another time. I believe if you DO work overtime you should get some sort of compensation as time away from families etc does impact your quality of life. One works to live, not the other way around.

jchimself
jchimself

I just ran into this issue at work. The salary does make a difference if you meet other conditions. My boss just had to pay me thousands in back pay after I showed him that I wasn't exempt.

Marty R. Milette
Marty R. Milette

I've never had a full-time senior/management IT role where I wasn't 'expected' to work for whatever hours it took to get the job done. If you couldn't get the job done in the hours you had and didn't work extra -- there are plenty of people lined up behind you who will. There may be laws that regulate this, but the simple fact is that in this business, if you try claiming a lot of extra hours -- legit or not -- there's alsways SOME way to replace you if management wants to bad enough. Some people use the word 'slavery' -- but that's really nothing more than whining. (Slaves never made $50K to $100K salaries and most IT people never get their hands dirty or their backs busted either.) If you want to get paid for every hour you work -- become a contractor -- then the employer not only knows the precise value of your time, but they EXPECT to pay for every hour 'extra' they use of it...

It Lives!
It Lives!

actually I ran into this issue as a contractor for a little known (and hopefully now defunct) IT headhunter service here in the MLPS MN area. they were doing a warehouse acquisition from a supermarket firm in WI, and needed some mainframe ops to help move the control-M environment over to their DOS-VSE (yes, you read that correctly). I worked 24 hr shifts, and put in easily 90-100 hrs a week for the length of the contract 6 months. When they extended the contract and did not hire another person, I looked at the dept of labor website and saw that I was entitled to overtime. I went to the headhunter firm first(since I technically worked for them) and asked them about it, they said I WAS NOT ENTITLED due to the reasons stated above. I called the dept of labor, and after a few months (of more overtime) and repeated calls (since they have like 2 people doing most of MN and WI) I found out not only was I eligible for my OT (and it was a large amount of money) so were the other operators that worked there. Then the IT firm withheld the money until I threatened them with legal action, and I was released from my contact extension with about 2 months to go, they citied "personal conflicts with onsite co-workers" as the reason. LOL, a junk company to work for, but I think some of the FTE's actually never filed for their OT because they were afraid to lose their jobs. I brought up the whole situation to the manager there, but he didn't have the stomach to make the situation right with his workers. Morale of the story, no one protects your interests like you do, so ask the questions, and even if you hear no, it's better to double check than just accept it.

mike_patburgess
mike_patburgess

It is a common practice to give senior managers incentives (stock options, and bonuses) so there really is no need for them to get paid OT. Now I realize that this a generalized statement but I am speaking from experience.

melias
melias

As a county government IT salaried/exempt employee, I do not get overtime pay unless it is pre-scheduled and approved in advance by the commissioners. This has happened all of once since the creation of my department. Normally, since we are mostly classified exempt, we work our normal hours, and come in early/stay late to take care of the 1000 and 1 jobs that require after-hours work. I often do much of this from home. (hurrah for high-speed i'net!) Since I am considered exempt, I often take time off to make up for after-hours work. Also, I use very little sick time for medical appointments as I do not need to. As long as I work 4.1 hours a day, it is considered a full day. Of course, I can't just work 4.1 hours a day every day, I do have hours I have to work and am expected to be here, but I have a great deal of flexibilty, as opposed to hourly employees, who have almost none. I have also been told not to come in some days after putting in doubles, even though by the 'letter of the law', my manager did not have to do this. You may notice, only once did I use the term overtime. That is because, except for that one time, there is NO overtime for exempt employees in my department. This is due to our job descriptions. It is simply after-hours work, wether in the PM, AM or weekend. Is this legal? I don't know. This system works well and is about as fair as anything I have yet worked with, so I am not concerned about it at this time.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

The FLSA also has tight definitions of exemptions specifically for IT staff, outside of the wage margins you noted. The key where you are 100% right is that employers apply exempt and nonexempt status readily without full knowledge of the application. Okay in a strictly professional field, but IT is omitted from that category more and more often. I decided to take this up with my brother last night, as I always like to dig into these legal issues; he's a corporate lawyer in both canada and the US for some pretty large corporations and has run up against this issue time and time again, and has also joined a group of lawyers, lobbying to have the laws revised now, as professional roles have changed an need finite definition. Exempt was intended to apply to professional fields, such as doctors, lawyers etc. Those fields have a high level of post secondary study required prior to licensing and entering the field, they require a great deal of OT in order to take care of issues outside of normal practice hours. In IT, it was originally seen as a professional field that could not be axquired in traditional schools, such as High School. With IT now being taught in high school, and many people just being hired on field experience and little or no formal training at all, the FLSA (and more importantly, the judges)are seeing it as a nonexempt position in MOST cases, with the exceptions of a CTO, or security expert, for example. I have taken this issue to court myself, the owner was forced to write out averaging agreements for two of us to sign; due to the hassle, the legal rejections of drafts and the need to do so each year, he just started paying us OT and asking us to stay late less and less often, perfect. so while I don't disagree with your reasoning, these laws are on thin ice and are easily challenged today, as more and mroe people leave highschool and walk right ito an IT career, removing it from the professional field category. just need a better lawyer than the idiot who runs the company and thinks he'll make all administrators exempt.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

With the exception of California and Alaska, anyone working more than 40 hrs in one workweek, salaried or not, is entitled to OT, just like most other normal, free countries in the world.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Wow, so you are comparing rules, regulations AND labour laws? Aren't they ALL set out by the FLSA? The same governing body for everyone? That's what the US government seems to think anyway. Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA). states that anyone workign more than 40hr a week is entitled to overtime pay (though again some states like Alaska base it on an 8hr day, not 40hr week). First of all, exempt does not mean salraied or vice versa. Exempt status is VERY thinly applicable, salary can apply to anyone and is generally subject to the exact same OT over 40hrs or 8 hrs/day (Alaska and a few otherstates) as any other employee. Exempt would apply to IT more often a few years ago than it does today and MOST of today's IT staff would be deemed nonexempt, no matter what the employer seems to believe. As a matter of fact, the FLSA states that if you are a professional and requrie ongoing training, study and upgrading, you are NOT exempt. So unless you are an IT worker who knows everything in his trade, you are nonexempt. Exempt status was created to define administrators and officers who would rightly need to work many mroe hours than normal, and thus cannot soak teh company with OT pay. Professionals such as doctors, lawyers, CTO's etc. would be exempt, but fo It staff that are always upgradign skills, taking new courses an dlearnign new ways to manage their work, they are considered non-exept. Now I know a lot of IT staff are categorized as exempt, however this is wrong and even more wrong each year as more and more high school level kids graduate with similar skills and ablities.

jchimself
jchimself

This doesn't apply always and there are definitions in the law that you can be paid overtime if you are contracted our etc. Don't assume that just because you make 455 per week you are not eligible for overtime. They may still owe you overtime and it adds up quick. I just got 4000 in overtime back pay because a disgruntled employee reported my employer and the department of labor did an investigation and they had to pay me and other employees many thousands of dollars and they were fines heavly. And when the department of labor comes in they are brutal.

aprince31
aprince31

Ooooops! I meant 264 hours with (not plus) OT.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Couple of questions: 1) How is it enforced? Is there a regulating body/watchdog you report to or is it a matter where you require a lawyer to persue unpaid wages? 2) If it is a law requiring a lawyer's help to persue, is it just a state law (Washington ?) or is it a national/federal change?

mosheb
mosheb

It is not "if our employees". There should be a simple and clear law (some posts below claim there is one) recognized and known by all that if an employee is asked by his superior to work beyond 40 hours a week, these hours should be compenseted accordingly, without any "if" or "maybe". Regardless of that, if employees do not work their full 8 daily hours, they should be disciplined accordingly. In organizations I am familiar with, most people work well and beyond the minimal required time.

geekgirlau
geekgirlau

I'm not sure that I like the use of the word "entitled" for this topic, and I've found it interesting reading the tone of many of the posts here. My take on this is fairly simple. As a capable adult, I make my expectations clear. I frequently work additional hours when required, but I negotiated a late start time so I can take my kids to school in the morning. I also have no hesitation in taking a morning, afternoon or day off, always with prior notification. There are some companies who are very much of the "clock on" mentality. For these organisations, the fact that you are 2 minutes late is a criminal offence, and the 4 hours you worked back the night before are somehow irrelevant. These are companies you do not want to work for. There are legal requirements that apply, but in most cases a simple discussion is sufficient. If you feel as an employee that you are being taken advantage of, document your hours and present it to your manager. Often companies are quicker to negotiate with additional time off rather than cash, but if this suits the employee as well, where's the problem? Negative assumptions don't help any of us. Not all companies are out to screw you, and not all employees are lazy goof-offs after any dollar that they can squeeze out of you. Sure, some fall into that category. However I would recommend taking responsibility for your own negotations. Whinging, apart from being unattractive, is also unproductive.

Tiger-Pa
Tiger-Pa

I too had always worked overtime and usually didn't mind until I retired and took on a retirement job. After 5 years as basically a computer repair tech, well below my skill set, my salary was still at an entry level. I typically worked 60-80 hour work weeks, way more than when I had a career. I not only did not receive a dime in compensation but was also reprimanded for taking an approved yet unscheduled day of vacation, my first vacation day off in a year. Later that year I was let go with no severence package when they said my position was cut from the budget. The position was immediately filled when I departed. I have now been gone and not worked for two years. Most all of my peers and management have since departed as well. The fat cats are still there. I too have not sued but am considering it

lerxst870
lerxst870

not hours spent at work! That is what it means to be "salaried-OT exempt" in the US. You are paid a fixed amount of money and then trusted to "get results". How much time you spend at work is irrelevant if you are a professional. You are trusted to make independent decisions on significant technical and business matters. You are the master of your own destiny in terms of how you perform your job. You may have "office hours" and other guidelines, but if you are exempt in the US, you had better not be doing something that is anywhere near manual labor or mindless, repetitive or routine, regardless of how much they pay you.

Thomas907
Thomas907

The word entitle is the wrong word. If you got everything you though you were entitled to you could be in pretty bad shape. This reminds me of a brilliant person to went through life taking every entitlement available because it was entitled. The last entitlement was a parasite which destroyed part of her spinal cord. The last I heard of her was that she was learning to spend the rest of her life in a wheel chair, Entitlement? No thank you.

Devin_MacGregor
Devin_MacGregor

I find it funny how make a demon out of that word. But businesses feel ENTITLED to profit off the services they offer and will dick with your compensation to get more of it. Management feels ENTITLED to perks whether they directly earned them or not. Business owners who do not even work their own business feel ENTITLED to the lion share of revenue simply because they have a piece of paper. But oh no the worker cannot be ENTITLED to get paid fairly for the work they do and the time they spent.

cynic 53
cynic 53

It is amusing to read the apologia for the Capitalist System from Marty Milette as it currently appears to be eaten up by the cancer of its own greed as Marx predicted all those years ago. Of course as applied in the one time Soviet Union Marxism ultimately failed although it did last for some time. There is a midway - Democratic Socialism as practised by the Scandinavian countries especially Sweden. Bear in mind also that without skilled and motivated Workers paid for their product, that is their time and skills, any business is merely a load of equipment in a premises doing nothing and that the certificates held by the Shareholders may as well be soap coupons. Each party in Industry and Commerce needs the other, Shareholders/Owners and their servants the Directors and Senior Managers on the one side and the Workers by hand and by brain on the other. As regards Overtime worked, it adds to the profits of the business and hence to the dividends to the Shareholders and thus as part of the Social Contract the Workers deserve their cut too, the Servant is worthy of his hire. Yes, you may have guessed I am what used to be called "Old Labour" , the Labour Party of Keir Hardie, Clem Attlee, Harold Wilson and which died with John Smith, not a washed out New Labour Blairite from the Rentier Classes.

Marty R. Milette
Marty R. Milette

"Wealth and property ownership, he observed, were highly concentrated in the hands of a small number of bourgeoisie (or capitalists), whilst the vast mass of proletariat(or workers) lived in poverty and had nothing to sell but their labor. The dominant capitalist class controlled the levers of political and economic power and was forced to exploit the working class by extorting 'surplus value' from their labor. Capitalism generated this exploitation because, by its very nature, it required capitalists to engage in ruthless competition with each other. Each round of new investment placed increasing competitive pressures on profits and created the need to perpetually drive down the wages of workers and reduce their numbers." These are the words used by Karl Marx to describe the capitalist system -- seems like he was right on the money. Unfortunately, communism doesn't work because it is human nature for people NOT to want to be the 'equal' of their neighbor, but to be BETTER. In a capitalist society, businesses ARE entitled to generate profits -- and in fact, are DEMANDED to do so by the SHAREHOLDERS. If the shareholders CHOOSE to give huge rewards for managing the business in such a way as to produce higher profits for them, then it is not your place to complain. In a capitalist society, business don't exist to distribute all their profits to the workers -- they exist to make profits for the shareholders. Period. Life isn't fair -- it just IS. When you own the company you can give away all your profits to charity or workers or whoever you like -- however, I'd suspect that when you actually wear the hat of shareholder/owner/management, you'll be no different than anyone else. Where are your retirement funds invested? Would you be happy to have them shrink in a company that loses money year after year, or at best, pays the workers so well that they make no profit at all?

Editor's Picks