Can an employer require that exempt employees who are full-time work 40 hours per week.

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Can an employer require that exempt employees who are full-time work 40 hours per week.

Asked on June 23, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Yes. If you are exempt employee, there is no upper limit on how many hours you could be asked to work--think about the hours not uncommonly worked by lawyers, doctors, corporate management, the assistants to upper-level management, etc. The exceptions would be if there is a contract or some industry/professional limit, the way airline pilots often have maximum hours.

The real question is whether you are in fact an exempt employees. Basically, exempt employees are:

Management, if they really *are* management (supervise other people, have considerable discretion)

Professionals whose jobs require advanced or technical training--like doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants

Admistrators, IF they exercise considerable discretion

In-house sales representatives, most non-managerial people in marketing, most secretaries, and lower level editors or graphic artists, are, for example, jobs that are often incorrectly characterized as exempt when they are not.

If you job in fact is not an exempt one, then you'd be paid hourly and could get overtime.


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