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Salary

I am salaried for 50 hours a week. 6 am to 5 pm with 1 hour for lunch. frequently I am asked to come in early for meetings. Often up to 2 hours. I almost always am forced to work thru my lunch hour. I am then told not to go home before 5 pm. Is this legal?

Asked on August 7, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are a salaried exempt employee, you are not entitled to any more pay regardless of how many hours you work: for salaried exempt employees, their weekly salary is their total compensation regardless of how many hours/week they work--and your employer may make you work any number of hours they want. Your only recourse would be to seek other employment.
On the other hand, if you are nonexempt but salaried, you are entitled to extra pay when you work more than 40 hours in a week. People commonly think that all salaried employees are exempt from overtime, but that is not true. To be exempt, you must be paid a salary of at least $455/week and you have to meet one of more of the exemptions found on the U.S. Dept. of Labor website under "overtime." Look at those exemptions and compare the duties and authority of each to your job (focus on the "administrative," "professional," and "executive' (or managerial) exemptions): if you don't meet the criteria for at least one, you are not exempt from overtime and are entitled to overtime when working more than 40 hours in a week even though you are salaried. If you believe you are not exempt from overtime and are working 50 or so hours per week, you are being short paid by 10 hours of overtime per week; contact your state or federal department of labor, since you may be owed a considerable amount of back overtime.
(While the exact calculation of salaried overtime can sometimes be complex, to rough it out: divide your weekly salary by 40 to get your equivalent hourly rate. For each hour of overtime, you get an amount equal to 50% of that.)


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