Can my company make me work more than 40 hours a week if I am on salary?

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Can my company make me work more than 40 hours a week if I am on salary?

We are web developers. Recently, we’ve been asked to work more than 40 hours a week to meet some company requirements for client billing. We do not get overtime pay because we are exempt. However, does my company have the right to tell me that I have to work more than 40 hours a week?

Asked on March 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The issue is not the fact that you are salaried.  The more relevant concern is whether or not you are an "exempt" employee (i.e. someone who is exempt from overtime).  Just because you are salaried doesn't mean that you are necessarily exempt from labor laws. Being paid a salary basis is part of the test for most forms of exemption, but it's not the only part.  Additionally, if you are "non-exempt", you must be paid overtime for hours worked past 40 in a week.  If, on the other hand, you are an exempt employee, unless you have an employment contract that states otherwise, your employer may make you work unlimited hours - and without overtime. 

Without more details of your job it's hard to advise further.  What you need to do now is to go to the your state's or the Department of Labor's website and check to see whether you qualify for "exempt" or "non-exempt" status.


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