Is there a law against making a salaried employee work 58 hours per weekif they are only paid for 40 hours?

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2011

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Is there a law against making a salaried employee work 58 hours per weekif they are only paid for 40 hours?

My mother works in a school uniform store that is open M-F 10-7, Sat 10-6, and Sun 12-5. She is an administrative employee, the office manager. She gets paid for 40 hours per week. However, her employer requires her to be there at least 6 days out of the week, if not 7, and does not pay her for the extra time that she works. Is there something that can be done about this?

Asked on July 28, 2011 Maryland


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, there is no upper limit on how many hours a company can require an "exempt" employee to work. However, the issue is not actually whether an employee is salaried; it is whether they are an exempt employee (i.e.someone who is exempt from overtime).  In other words just because an employee is salaried doesn't mean that they are necessarily "exempt" from certain labor laws. 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 is possible to be salaried and to get overtime. And "non-exempt" employees must be paid overtime for hours worked past 40 in a week. 

If, 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. 

Unfortunately, in this case it appears that your mother is most likely exempt. This is because exempt employees are usually those is administrative or management positions. There are other requirements as well. So perhaps she should contact her state's department of labor for further information regarding this.

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 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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