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Is there such a thing as too many worked hours in a week for a Salaried employee?

Wood River, IL |

When I was offered a Salary position, I was excited at the opportunity to grow within my company.

I soon found, however, that all that it really was is a pseudo-title to the exact same work I do. There was no change in my position within the company, I received no additional benefits or incentives.

I am scheduled to work 44 hours a week, and with a wage of $800 for every two weeks, the only thing that changed between my old pay and new pay is the total hours worked.

Due to the transfer and training of a new manager, I've been "encouraged" to "help the team" because "you're on salary pay" - and have been working a pretty consistent 55-60 hour week the past few weeks.

I hear Illinois is an "at-will state" and I essentially have no rights, but is there something I can do for "overtime"?

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

Those in leadership positions are often called upon to work more and harder to lead. I do not know your specifics but I can say there are very very many that have no job and did not get promoted.

In an at will state like Illinois you have the absolute freedom to take your talents to another company and your current place has absolutely no say about that. So the "at will" tag goes both ways and gives you a powerful freedom

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Posted

Thank you for the reply Alan, but I'd like to clarify a little. I'm not a leader. That's my concern. I'm not a manger of anyone except myself. Referencing the Exempt Jobs list for the FLSA, my duties do not fall within executive, administrative, creative or computer professional. I work an inside sales job, and in 2013 my gross pay after taxes barely broke 17k. (Factoring in taxes bumps this to a total of $19,108.67) My last issue, is that I am not the only one in this same position. There are at least a dozen other employees within the company with my exact role and purpose, whom are all paid the same way. Now that I think about it, about half of the entire company (of roughly ~250 employees) are all salaried in various positions. Does that change anything legally, or am I just being ungrateful?

Alan Sanders Richard

Alan Sanders Richard

Posted

Yes, it is possible that it changes things. No, you are not being ungrateful. Consult with an attorney who specializes in employment law issues.

Posted

If you are performing the same job tasks now as a salaried employee that you were as an hourly employee then it may not be the case that you are truly exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and your state's wage law. You would need to speak with an employment lawyer in your area about your situation to see if you should be receiving overtime compensation.

At a minimum I would encourage you to keep a log at home of the hours you work each day, including start and stop times, along with whatever time you took lunch. Also keep copies of your pay stubs. If it turns out you should receive overtime then you will need those records to prove the hours of unpaid wages.

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Posted

Thank you for the reply Adam. Let me add a bit more to the specifics and see if that helps shed light on the situation (coped from another reply): ~ I'm not a leader. That's my concern. I'm not a manger of anyone except myself. Referencing the Exempt Jobs list for the FLSA, my duties do not fall within executive, administrative, creative or computer professional. I work an inside sales job, and in 2013 my gross pay after taxes barely broke 17k. (Factoring in taxes bumps this to a total of $19,108.67) My last issue, is that I am not the only one in this same position. There are at least a dozen other employees within the company with my exact role and purpose, whom are all paid the same way. Now that I think about it, about half of the entire company (of roughly ~250 employees) are all salaried in various positions. Does that change anything legally, or am I just being ungrateful? ~ Thankfully, all of the records are kept digitally of both pay stubs AND all punches. I have already made a physical copy of the entire year of 2013's pay stubs and punches, just in case. Unfortunately, however, being an at-will state leaves the selection of an Employment Lawyer pretty thin. There are only a few in my area, whom have not yet replied to my voice mails. I was hoping to gain some insight here to possibly re-word my potential case, as I know the ones I've reached out to are very busy people.

Alan Sanders Richard

Alan Sanders Richard

Posted

With about over 100 similarly situated employees, it may be worth the while of an attorney located in another city. Don't limit your search to your immediate neighborhood.

Posted

From the additional information you provided to Adam, it seems to me that you are an "included employee" for FSLA purposes and that you should be entitled to time and one-half for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week (or perhaps, in your case, 80 hours in an extended work period of two weeks, based on how you are paid)..

Even in an "at will" state, an employee cannot be fired in retaliation for making an FSLA complaint. Consult with a labor and employment lawyer who can explain your rights and adise you on the appropriate steps to take.

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Posted

Thank you for the follow up Alan. I'll be sure to reach out to a lawyer in my area immediately.

Alan Sanders Richard

Alan Sanders Richard

Posted

Keep us posted as this progresses. Good luck.

Posted

This question was asked a few days ago. A salaried employee can be required to work more than 40 hours per week. If you are concerned, you should speak with an employment attorney. If you remain concerned, perhaps it's time to ask for a raise and if you remain concerned, to look for a new job.

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Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

I stand corrected. Thank you, Ms. Tsamis.

Posted

First of all, to be exempt from overtime, you must be paid at least $455 per week. If you are paid $400 a week you are simply not an exempt employee and your employer is in violation of federal and possibly state law, depending on the number of hours you work divided by your weekly pay. If your hourly pay falls below the state or federal minimum wage rate, your employer has committed additional violations. Please consider speaking with a qualified FLSA attorney. Many of us provide case evaluation at no cost.

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Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

Thank you for clarifying. I stand corrected.

Betty Tsamis

Betty Tsamis

Posted

Ms. Goldstein, you can probably teach me a thing or two about divorce law.

Posted

Unless they pay you the minimum annual salary, they are obliged to pay you minimum wage and overtime. One thing you should do is to keep track of your hours. When you get put on salary, it is easy to lose track of your hours, because you don't punch a time clock any more. But, if there are issues about compliance with wage and hour laws because you make close to the minimum annual salary (or, in your case, below it), you will want to have accurate, contemporaneous records of the hours you actually worked. Keep a separate diary on which you note the hours actually worked each day.

This response creates no attorney client relationship; consult a local lawyer for help if you proceed.

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Asker

Posted

Thankfully, our records are done through a third party website and are managed online. I have in my possession, a printout of every punch and every paystub for 2013.

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