If I’m required to work 45 hours per week with only 2 holidays off and all other employees get paid time and a 1/2 for 4 holidays a year but I don’t, is it legal of I’m paid salary?

Asked on May 30, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This issue isn't whether or not you are a salaried employee; it's whether or not you are legally excused or "exempt" from overtime laws. In other words, because you are salaried doesn't necessarily mean that you do not qualify for protection under federal (or state) labor laws.

So, the question is, are you an exempt or non-exempt? If you are an exempt employee, there is no upper limit on how many hours you could be asked to work. However, being paid on a salary basis is only a part of the test used to determine exemption eligability. That fact is that it is possible to be salaried and to still be eligiable to be paid overtime. 

Basically, exempt employees are: Management (i.e. you supervise other people and have have considerable discretion in your work); Professionals (your job requires advanced or technical training - engineers, accountants, lawyers, etc); Administrators (if you they exercise considerable discretion in your position). If none of these apply, then you are a non-exempt employee and your work time must be paid time. This also means that for any hours that you work over 40 per week, it has to be paid as overtime.
Note:  At this point you should go to the your state's Labor Department website and check to see whether you meet the test for exemption. You can also find the test on the U.S. Department of Labor website (click on "Wages," then on "Overtime Pay," then on "FairPay Fact Sheets by Exemption").

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