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

UPDATED: Sep 11, 2011

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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


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

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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