As a salaried employee for a retail store, can my employer force me to work a 6 day, 72 hour work week?

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As a salaried employee for a retail store, can my employer force me to work a 6 day, 72 hour work week?

Asked on September 11, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First of all, are you an exempt or non-exempt employee?  If you are exempt, there is no limit on how many hours you can be asked to work (with exceptions for some certain professions, pilots, for example). Yet, just because you are salaried doesn't mean that you are automatically "exempt" from certain labor laws. 

Being paid on a salary basis is part of the test for exemption, however it's not the only part.  It is possible to be salaried and still get overtime.  Basically, exempt employees are: management (i.e. you supervise other people); professionals (your job requires advanced or technical training, such as engineers, accountants, lawyers, etc); administrators (you exercise considerable discretion in your position). If not, then you are a non-exempt employee and work time is paid time.  Additionally, for any hours that you work over 40 per week, it has to be paid as overtime. 

Note:  This all assumes that there is no union/employment contract or company policy to the contrary, or you are being treated differently than similar employees due to discrimination.

At this point you should go to your state's department of labor or the federal department of labor's website and check on your status as either tan "exempt" or "non-exempt" employee.


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