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How much work is normal for a salaried employee?

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2022 | Wage & Hour Laws |

When your employer offered you a salaried role, you were excited to take it. You’d have a consistent income and no longer have to worry about tracking each individual hour on the job. For weeks where you’d be in the office less than 40 hours, a salaried pay would be a step in the right direction for financial security.

What you might not have expected was to be asked to work well beyond 40 hours. After all, many people do agree that salaried workers should work between 35 and 40 hours when working full time. That being said, is it still allowed for your employer to ask you to work more without giving you overtime? When does extra work become unreasonable?

You might be entitled to overtime in some cases

A typical workweek is between 32 and 40 hours a week depending on where you are and who you work for. If you’re working more than 40 hours a week, you may be entitled to overtime compensation.

According to the Federal Labor Standards Act, salaried employees have to earn over $35,658 (or $684 weekly) to be exempt from receiving overtime. They must earn a weekly salary and be in certain industries to be exempt from overtime, too, such by working in science, engineering, outside sales or administrative roles.

If you work over 40 hours a week and qualify as a non-exempt worker, then you should receive your salary as well as overtime pay.

What if you’re an exempt employee? Is overtime still fair?

Technically, you do need to work the hours assigned to you, and overtime will go unpaid. However, it is a good idea to track your hours. If you’re regularly going over 40 hours, you may want to sit down with your employer to talk about how much work you have and how it has increased from before you went to a salary role.

Federal law doesn’t specify a limit on the hours you can work on salary. However, there may be state laws in place to protect you. Additionally, if your compensation is working out to less than minimum wage per hour when your hours are added up, you may be able to take action.