D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Salaried Overtime in the States

Sunday, May 6, 2007 11:32 AM

I'm just curious...

I was reading the latest issue of Men's Health, and one of the features throughout the magazine is an "Ask the Experts" thing. One of the experts is Dan Abrams who covers law-based questions.

So this guy writes in about how he's in California and his boss wants to fire him because he's not putting in "enough hours", although those expected hours would be unpaid overtime! He asks whether his boss has any right doing this.

The response from Dan is that he probably does, because apparantly in California salaried employees only get overtime if they make $23,500.00 or less...but if you make over, then...well then what, so you're a slave to the company unless you have an overtime provision entered into your contract?!
Edit: Sorry, I re-read the article and its not just a California thing about the OT-under-23.5K...its a US Federal Law

I'm just curious to know what overtime laws are like in other parts of the US as well...I know a friend in North Carolina mentioned that over 8 hours a day isn't overtime, but more than 40 hours a week is...just to give a frame of reference, in Manitoba over 40 hours OR over 8 hours a day kicks the OT meter into work...and salary isn't an excuse to not-pay-overtime (unless they write that specifically into the contract and make that policy).



# re: Salaried Overtime in the States

Salaried employees do not usually get overtime. That means that they can work you as long as they like. And most bosses comment on this at some point. My last two bosses have made comments about how I am not "working enough hours".
That is because the dirty little secret is that when an employer makes an offer for salary they are expecting 50-60 hours a week. So the boss feels cheated if the employee doesn't work those number of hours. The perspective employee obviously is basing the figure on 40-44 hours a week. I actually got a lower score on my employee review because the boss didn't think that I worked enough hours. 5/6/2007 1:51 PM | Scott Miller

# re: Salaried Overtime in the States

Yep, Salary in the US = no overtime pay and if they expect 50-60 hours a week and you're not putting the time in, you're gone.

Lucky for me, my current employer only expects 40 hours a week, but my last job they expected quite a bit more.

Since I'm salary, it doesn't matter if I put 20 hours in in a week or 80 hours in, my pay does not change, only my image in the company does.

5/7/2007 2:22 AM | George

# re: Salaried Overtime in the States

Wow...y'know, my first gig in IT was for a company where the head office was in the states (sales and support) and the development group was here in Canada...and they did the same thing: no overtime as a salaried employee...I wonder if they just thought that the same rules applied north of the border.

D 5/7/2007 2:27 AM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: Salaried Overtime in the States

James Shore has a great article about OT and "energized work" (as he calls it). In my experience most of what he says is bang on! If I'm working more than 40 hours per week it usually results in lower quality work throughout the week.


However, that probably still wouldn't convince a boss to lower his expectations for how many hours one of his workers should be putting in. That change in mentality is probably VERY hard to implement. 5/7/2007 3:02 AM | Jeremy Wiebe

# re: Salaried Overtime in the States

Hi all,

This was an issue that came up in California a few years ago. As far as I know, the developers were successful in some of their arguments, so it's not so cut and dry.


Steve Porter 5/7/2007 3:25 AM | Steve Porter

# re: Salaried Overtime in the States

Actually D the labour laws have changed in Manitoba (as of April 30th), salaried employees who are considered to be “essential” to the company (i.e. management) do not have to be paid OT. http://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?archive=&item=1082 5/7/2007 4:47 AM | William

# re: Salaried Overtime in the States

Yeah, I was talking about the changes with some people today. You have to look at how unbelievably gray those areas are though. They fall into two groups:

Those that set their own hours (and make at least double the average industrial wage, although that piece isn't discovered until you read the text).

For management, you have to prove also that the person holds some sense of authority and decision making ability. The example they give in the text is that someone who just supervises people is NOT necessarily management, and title has no bearing on whether the person is a manager either. So then you get into this area of whether someone doens't qualify for OT based on what their job actually entails.

For the other...its just as silly...you have to basically pick your entire work schedule and just "check in to the office every once in a while" to qualify...well, that and you have to make double the industrial average wage.

But outside of these, employees in Manitoba are expected to get overtime for more than 40 hours a week or 8 hours a day.

Management do not qualify for Overtime (http://www.gov.mb.ca/labour/standards/factsheet,doc,overtime-managers.html)
Workers who “Substantially control their hours of work” (http://www.gov.mb.ca/labour/standards/factsheet,doc,overtime-hours-control.html) 5/7/2007 4:53 AM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: Salaried Overtime in the States

At my last employer, the company policy was no more than 3% annual raise, and it was balanced across the department - i.e. only a certain percentage were allowed 3% - the rest got 3% down to 0%. At that company the only ones who got 3% were the 60 hour a week people.
Once I worked four weekends in a row and mentioned it to the boss when he was complaining and he said, "So what?!" 5/7/2007 7:50 AM | Scott Miller

# re: Salaried Overtime in the States

And you wonder why I'm big on being independent. 5/10/2007 2:35 AM | Justice~!

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