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Salaried Employees Work Hours: Laws from FLSA

Exempt Employees and Rules Requiring Specified Hours You probably are aware that exempt employees generally should be paid the same salary regardless of the number of hours they work or the quantity of work they produce. But, can you require them to work a certain schedule and track their hours?

Psst… check out these FLSA posts from 2016:

Exempt Employees and Rules Requiring Specified Hours

You probably are aware that exempt employees generally should be paid the same salary regardless of the number of hours they work or the quantity of work they produce. But, can you require them to work a certain schedule and track their hours?

Q: Can we require salaried, exempt employees to work a specific schedule and to clock in and out for any purpose other than to track paid time off? We have several exempt managers who need to be at work during the same hours that the employees they supervise are here. But, we are concerned that if we require the exempt employees to work a certain number of hours and keep track of the hours worked, we risk that they will be considered hourly, nonexempt employees entitled to overtime.

A: Interestingly, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and its implementing regulations do not specifically prohibit employers from requiring exempt employees to work a particular schedule or to track the hours they work. In fact, the Department of Labor (DOL), in the preamble to revised exemption regulations, stated that employers may require exempt employees to work a specific schedule and to record and track hours without affecting their exempt status.

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However, you should be aware that if you require exempt employees to work a certain number of hours and account for their work time on an hourly basis, you may jeopardize the exempt status of these employees if the accounting has the effect of treating them like hourly workers. This practice could make the employer liable for past overtime.

For example, if the exempt employee’s salary fluctuates based on the number of hours worked or the employee’s pay is docked for hours not worked in any day, the employee most likely will not be considered exempt. (However, interestingly, the FLSA exemption regulations allow you to pay an exempt employee additional compensation without jeopardizing the employee’s exempt status. This additional compensation can be paid on any basis, including a flat sum, bonus payment, straight-time hourly amount, time and one-half, or any other basis, including paid time off.)

You generally may track hours worked for purposes unrelated to the employee’s pay (such as to account for work time billed to clients or performed under a federal contract) and may record daily attendance. And, you also must comply with applicable wage and hour recordkeeping requirements for exempt employees, such as recording the time and day of the week the exempt employee’s workweek begins and total pay for the week.

Accordingly, if you require exempt employees to work a specific number of hours or arrive at a specific time (and have them clock in and out to show that they are complying with these requirements), you need to make sure that these policies do not appear to be treating them as nonexempt, and thus jeopardize their exempt status. You best practice, then, is to show that these requirements are directly related to the exempt employees’ job duties. So, you are wise to tie the exempt employees’ required schedule to their managerial job duties, instead of simply focusing on the number of hours the exempt employees work or their starting time. For example, if an employee manages nonexempt employees who must be at work between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., you can require the exempt manager to be at work during the same hours to supervise properly.

Regards,

Robin Thomas, J.D.
Personnel Policy Service, Inc.

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43 Comments on "Salaried Employees Work Hours: Laws from FLSA"

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Bernice McLean
Guest

I was hired as a title 1 teacher by the school district. My assignment was at a private Christian school. I was contracted to work 25 hours per week, and was only paid for 25. However, for two years I worked 30 to 40 hours hours per week without compensation from the private school. Is the private school liable in the Fair Labor Act?

bleach
Guest

If you are a salaried employee the school is not liable. I don’t like that they aren’t liable; but unfortunately you are mostly at fault for allowing them to let you work that much. Draw a line in the sand and say no to things.

Juliana
Guest

What State did you work in? In Texas or California that would be a violation. Also, statute of limitations can go up to 3 years.

Rose
Guest

The company I work for bought my old company out several years ago. In the contract, my old boss and new bosses signed, I was to remain a salaried employee. Now with the changes in wages, I have been told I have to start clocking in and out and will be considered hourly. Do I have any recourse with the fact the contract they negotiated said I was to remain a salaried employee. my new boss says he cannot give me a big enough salary increase to meet the salaried status.

bleach
Guest

You are salaried under the 47500 benchmark? They need you to punch in so they can track your hours to pay overtime under the new laws. You should be getting your salary pay as normal but with overtime if you work it. Your new boss may think your overtime pay won’t be as much as giving you a raise to 47500. Technically its considered hourly now, but it shouldn’t change anything on your end.

Tim
Guest

I am a salaried employee. When I am in town I must work 8a to 5p but when I travel I work 60 plus hours a week without any comp time. Is that proper?

Andrea
Guest

Tim I can relate to you … I have been working 11 to 13 hours daily for the past 2 weeks. when i took 2 days off they were discounted from my pay. is this legal considering that I am exempt doesn’t the time compensates ?

Stacey Rodgers
Guest

Question so if im a exempt employee that has a set schedule to work as for as days and times. I dont manage people and will always work a full schedule how is that legal to require me to work overtime and not get paid for it? I could see if my schedule was flexible and some time i didnt have a full schedule, but if i always work 40 hours and you still require more just because im salaried thats not fair.

T Mitchell
Guest

I am in the same boat and I would really like to know the answer to this. I was recently told by my employer that I am to be available “whenever” they need me because I am an excempt employee. Thats not right

Andre Tate
Guest
I am a Emt supervisor only making 40k a yr and my boss requires that i work 75hrs a week with one day off included in that(wouldve been 90hrs!). Now if i take off for an additional day or two but dont cross that 40hrs or less threshold arent i still entitled to the same pay? My primary duties is to work on the road assisting patients lifting people while dispatching giving orders etc. Tecnically im getting paid less than i would make if i were one of my employees working the same number of hours. What should i do… Read more »
Jasper Whiteside
Guest

I was looking at the benefits of being what you refer to as an exempt employee instead of an hourly employee. It seems to me that there is some added job security if you are an exempt employee. Or, I guess there’s a greater perceived security there. I suppose there is a greater accountability having to use a time clock to keep track of the work you’ve done. http://www.ajg.com/compensation

tina
Guest

what happens or what is the law about a salaried manager working 60 to 80 hours a week and only gets paid for 40

Nick
Guest

I am an exempt employee but my manager is asking me to sign off on 40 hours per week when in fact I actually work more than 40 hours sometimes on my day off. I am not comfortable signing off on forty hours when it is actually more. We use ADP and it does not allow me to enter my actual hours. Please advise. Thank you.

Kei. Bill
Guest
I am a early head start teacher who is salaried employed in the state of Georgia. If i only work 4 hours in one work day will i get paid for a full 8 hour work day? My company center management told me the policy has changed. There is nothing in the policy and procedure hand book about only working 4 hours a particular day and getting paid for a full 8 hour work day. I was told by management that they take out 4 hours from my vacation time to make up the balance for a full 8 hour… Read more »
Tony
Guest

As a salary employee if my work schedules me to work 84 hours per week but two weeks straight before getting my two days off and without any comp time. Can my employer do this in the state of California?

Donna Hamilton
Guest

What can I do legally if my employer refuses to give me a written schedule?

Mykkah Herner
Admin

Hi Donna – a great first step is checking out the DOL “your questions” site: http://www.dol.gov/general/your-questions If you don’t see your answer there you can check with an employement lawyer. At first glance, I don’t see anything about a written schedule, but don’t quote me on that.

Donna Hamilton
Guest

I’m waiting to find out what my rights as an employee are if my employer refuses to give me a written work schedule?

Donna Hamilton
Guest

Does anyone have any answers for me?

Julz
Guest

I work for a school district as a salaried employee. Given specific work hours. If anyone arrives 2 or 3 minutes late they are questioned as to how are they going to take their time. Vacation or ill time? This has been an ongoing issue for years and human resources and the union has been notified . Human resources made themselves unavailable to this date. To my understanding the practice of deducting our vacation time or ill time is not permissable?

LEG
Guest
Hello, Hopefully someone can help me get a better understanding of the Labor Law. I’m still pretty young and this is the first time that I’m working at such an elevated position with a company. I’ve been working freelance for a while which was much different. Here’s a brief overview: I have been working for a company for almost 4 years now. I have moved up from hourly to salaried, and am now in a newly created position as IT & Operations Manager. Our center is opened for about 18 hours a day and I manage three different departments, aside… Read more »
Andrew
Guest

can my employer take some of my PTO away from me if i don’t work all 40 hours per week and i’m exempt/salaried?

Roy worth
Guest

My employer pays me salary when I work 65 hours a week .but If I work under 40 hours he pays me by the hour .is this legal .i though if you were on salary you pay didn’t change no matter how many hours you worked .

Roy worth
Guest

My employer pays me salary when I work 65 hours a week but then pays me hourly if I work under 40 hours for a week .is this legal

Marisela
Guest

I am a salary employee and everytime my boss or coworker takes vacation I have to work 6 days and getting the same pay is this legal?

Lucy
Guest

My employer has cut our hours to only 5 1/2 – 6 hours a day and they are telling us we have to clock out for 30 minute breaks regardless. Is this true? Are they breaking the law?

Lucy
Guest

My job just cut our hours to 5 1/2 – 6 hours a days and they are telling us we still have to clock out for 30 minute breaks. Is this right or wrong?

usajyo
Guest

Is it normal that a salaried employee has to work 80 hours in 7 days including Saturday and Sunday?

Too Tired
Guest

Salaried, exempt, required to stay awake 48 hours, no time allotted for sleep. 80+ hour weeks are the norm. Is there any justice for salaried workers?

Balcazar
Guest
I’m a salaried employee who is required to work minimum 10hrs a day 50 hrs week or more based on business needs. I am also required to report to work at a specific time because of the shifts we supervise, however while I am not given any leeway and must be at work on the dot the employees I supervise have up to 30 mins after clocking to make it to work station. Employees have up to 30 mins from the time they clock in to make it to their work area and commence their shift is that fair to… Read more »
Cheryl Johnson
Guest

I’m salaried. I just worked this morning and an employee called out. I’ve been told to come back and work 3:30pm til 11:30pm. I will also have to return to work at 4am tomorrow morning

Sheila Gossman
Guest

Can an exempt salaried person legally work four 10-hour days a week, or do they legally have to work five 8 hour days?

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
Admin

Hi Sheila,

Generally, exempt salaried workers can work on any schedule (legally speaking). The U.S. Department of Labor has a fact sheet on FLSA rules for exempt workers; you can find that here.

Sierrah
Guest

My managerial job initially stated that the days would be about 10 hours long. Some days would be longer and some would be shorter. They just released a schedule saying all managers are required to be on site from 5AM to 3PM, although we required to stay later if there is as issue. There has been no compensation increase in hours and we also do not have uninterrupted lunch breaks. Is the company required to pay us overtime?

Shayne
Guest
I am a project manager in the roofing industry. I am a salary employee who is required to clock in and out each day. If I start work at 5am and end my day at 6pm I was told to change that time to 7am to 3pm. Is this legal? Also they recently sent out and email stating that all employees must work 45 to 50 hours mandatory. Problem is being a salary employee puts me at the required hours well before an hourly employee and at that point I’m told I have to work the weekend or beyond 55… Read more »
Jennifer Anderson
Guest

So my husband works salary at the port of Oakland, and he works 12 hour days Monday to Friday and every other weekend. His salary is horrible and is often exhausted. Is this even legal to work this much without compensation?

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
Admin

It depends on whether he’s an exempt employee or not. (Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime.) There are tests that determine which employees are exempt and which are non-exempt. The Department of Labor has a fact sheet with more detail.

Lisa
Guest
As a manager of a Subway I work 60 to 70 hours a week I only get paid for 40 I want to know when is enough hours enough and if someone calls off or if I’m sick I’m not allowed to be sick I have to be at work 6 days a week I’m getting really sick and tired of it and for the last year it’s just getting worse when you take it to the owners owner says that’s what you get paid for but it really in reality I don’t get paid that much I only make… Read more »
Al James
Guest

We have an employee that will be on maternity leave, where they will be using their vacation. Once out of vacation time, the person has been instructed, that if they respond to at least one email a day, or make a work related call, by law, they are required to be paid a full day’s pay. Please let me know your thoughts. If it matters, we are located in NY. Thanks!

tammy
Guest

I am a salary employee and my employer expects us to work 10 hour days but only gets paid for 8 hours. Is this legal?

Jordan Nichols
Guest

We are taking an hourly employee to salary. We will pay him straight time for hours over 40 worked during the week. my question is how many hours over can he work and how many can we pay him for?

Jenni
Guest

If im salaried, and once a month my employer has me attend a manager’s meeting..that lasts 4 hours plus..are they required to pay me for this extra day? They are also having us do extra training these days..also note..that they ALWAYS schedule it on mondays (which are my days off) but some of my fellow salaried coworkers are already working that day..so its like me and a few others are the only ones giving up our days off for this.

Rhonda
Guest

I have a friend who works for Avis and only makes 25,000. a year. Hasn’t had a raise in over 7 years and is on call and recently has been told she has to work 65 hours a week. Is this legal in MN?

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