If you are salaried, can an employer expect you to work a 10 hour plus day while only being paid for an 8 hour day?

UPDATED: Jul 29, 2011

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If you are salaried, can an employer expect you to work a 10 hour plus day while only being paid for an 8 hour day?

Asked on July 29, 2011 New Jersey


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Typically, a salaried employee is considered to be "exempt" (i.e. someone who is exempt from overtime and related labor laws). And legally, there is no upper limit on how many hours a company can require an exempt employee to work.  However, just because an employee is salaried does not automatically make them exempt. Being paid on a salary basis is only part of the test for most forms of exemption but it's not the only requirement.  The fact is that it's possible to be salaried and still get overtime. And "non-exempt" employees must be paid overtime for hours worked over 40 in a week. 

On the other hand, if someone is an exempt employee then unless they have an employment contract, etc. that states otherwise, their employer may make them work unlimited hours and without overtime pay.

Without more facts of your employment duries it's hard to say whether you are exempt or non-exempt. As a rule professionals, adminstrators and/or managers are considered to be exempt employees. However a label of, for example, "manager" may not be enough in and of itself to establish an employee's legal status as exempt. Typically an exempt employee: is paid a salary; primarily performs on-site office duties and/or non-manual work duties; does not participate in sales or production, hires and/or supervises others, and the like.

At this point you can contact your state's department of labor or an employment law attorney for further information.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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