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Old 01-17-2011, 06:42 PM   #1
Chaotic42
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Default Can a company force their salaried employee to work more than 40 hours per week?

Right now most of us at work are working a bit of overtime. We're salaried and I was talking with my supervisor today and he said that the company can't force anyone to work more than forty hours per week. That sounds absurd to me. I understand that it's undesirable to have to do that regularly, and it would lead to people leaving, but are companies really powerless to force salaried employees to work more than forty hours per week, or can they fire employees who refuse to do so?
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:46 PM   #2
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You have no right to only work 40 hours a week. You only have the right to be paid more IF you get paid by the hour. A company certainly can fire you for not doing your job if the job requires more than 40 hours.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:46 PM   #3
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um yes.... welcome to the corp world..
you either work it or you get fired..

this seems especially true in IT when after hours work is usually the only time to get migrations etc done.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:47 PM   #4
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An acquaintance was taken before a labour tribunal here in Canada because one of his ex-employees was claiming for overtime. He tried to claim for overtime that was spent at home surfing the net to further his knowledge of the business (it is an internet business) and for answering emails in the evenings.

The Labour Board ruled that he was not eligible for overtime, but only because his employment contract had a reference to working a minimum of 40 hours per week, which set the expectation that he may be required to work more than 40 hours. I thought it was absurd that it would have been even considered, since I had always thought salaried staff was not eligible for OT, but it seems like it depends on the employment contract.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:48 PM   #5
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ummm, company I just interviewed with said they have a 45 hour billable requirement per month (meaning at least 60 hours/week).
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:49 PM   #6
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um yes.... welcome to the corp world..
you either work it or you get fired..

this seems especially true in IT when after hours work is usually the only time to get migrations etc done.
Interesting.

I mean, I agree with it, if you take on a salaried job, you enter a contract to do it. I'm surprised that he's under that impression, then. Maybe it's a company rule.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:50 PM   #7
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*acquaintance

Canuckistan is a whole 'nother' critter.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:51 PM   #8
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"Can a company force their salaried employee to work more than 40 hours per week?"

In this economy? Let me answer your question with another question:

"Can a slavemaster force their slave to do anything they want?"
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:52 PM   #9
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That's the WHOLE POINT of being a salary worker.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:52 PM   #10
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look at recent uprisings at EA Games where spouses were up in arms that their husbands were working extremely long shifts to complete projects at deadlines.

I worked recently at a Publishing Company and it was almost as bad there..
writers and editors staying overnight sometimes in order to get articles out to press on time.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
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*acquaintance

Canuckistan is a whole 'nother' critter.
Thank you sir, the error has been corrected, and you are especially correct about Canuckistan being very different about employment standards ... especially the left coast.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:54 PM   #12
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Why not? If your contract says you are required to finish some form of project work, then even if you work the full 40 hours but don't get it done, you need to work more.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:02 PM   #13
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If you are salaried, aka "excempt", you stay until things get done...and zero OT pay.

<<---- used to work for a place with 50% pay raise but almost 90% more hours...needless to say, I did not stay too long.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:04 PM   #14
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OP, welcome to corporate America.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaotic42 View Post
Right now most of us at work are working a bit of overtime. We're salaried and I was talking with my supervisor today and he said that the company can't force anyone to work more than forty hours per week. That sounds absurd to me. I understand that it's undesirable to have to do that regularly, and it would lead to people leaving, but are companies really powerless to force salaried employees to work more than forty hours per week, or can they fire employees who refuse to do so?
I see you are in Florida. Florida is a right to work state, meaning, you can work anywhere and not be forced to join a union. It also means an employer can dismiss you for any legal reason they desire, at any time, without prior notice. So, if the job they are asking you to do requires 60 hours a week and you can't or won't complete the job, they can most certainly dismiss you.

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Old 01-17-2011, 07:08 PM   #16
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Yep. In the corporate environment, your purpose on earth is to WORK. M-F, Saturdays, Sundays. Whatever it takes. Your life may suck, but hey! You're making so much money!

Thank God for unions protecting their workers from exploitation like that. 40 hours = a full time week. You want your worker to work more hours? Pay them overtime.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:09 PM   #17
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I thought hourly = you get paid for the hours worked, and
salary = you get paid $X/year, regardless of hours worked.

?
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:09 PM   #18
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I'm considered "non-exempt" so... Sure, I'll work OT, but I'm getting paid for it
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic Vega View Post
I see you are in Florida. Florida is a right to work state, meaning, you can work anywhere and not be forced to join a union. It also means an employer can dismiss you for any legal reason they desire, at any time, without prior notice. So, if the job they are asking you to do requires 60 hours a week and you can't or won't complete the job, they can most certainly dismiss you.
I'm actually in Mississippi.

I'll have to print this thread out and show that dumbass... uh, hey man.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:24 PM   #20
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I'm salary in a professional CPA accounting firm. Any hours I work > 40 get accrued into a lump payment at the hourly wage of what my salary would be two times a year, or I can take it as vacation.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:28 PM   #21
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Question then...why aren't all jobs salaried? Unless I'm missing something, it sounds like a goddamn sweet deal for the employer, in a country which already views things like time off and vacation as whiny cries of people who want to waste their lives doing things other than glorifying their employer.*
Put your workforce on salary, and then make them do anything. Stay until the work is done. If it takes 60 hours, tough shit, enjoy your 40-hours-worth of pay. You're welcome.




* - Reading anything on European vacation/holiday practices gives an idea of who runs the government in the US. They get more holiday hours there than I get in vacation time. Plus 4-6 weeks of paid vacation on top of that. Here, you have to wait until you hit retirement age before you can really get some decent time off.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:28 PM   #22
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They can't force you to. They can't force you to do anything. Of course they can definitely let you go.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:29 PM   #23
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Quote:
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I'm considered "non-exempt" so... Sure, I'll work OT, but I'm getting paid for it
This is the source of a lot of screwing going on in the labor market. Lots of employees are classified as exempt that should not be. IT folks not in supervisory positions should not be classified as exempt.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:29 PM   #24
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I was salaried and exempt but I got OT, well after 45 hours/wk, so first 5 OT was unpaid. So I don't think exempt necessarily means no OT pay.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:31 PM   #25
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They can't force you to. They can't force you to do anything. Of course they can definitely let you go.
Well yeah, "force" is kind of subjective if you look at it that way.

I can't "force" you to do anything against your will. You may well choose to disobey my instructions, knowing full well that a bullet in the head is the result. But you were given the choice.
"Honest, officer! I didn't force the guy to do anything! I clearly gave him some terms, and he made a choice based on those terms. "
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