classification and overtime

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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classification and overtime

My employer informed me that she was changing me from hourly to salaried with no explanation. I also work over 80 hours bi-weekly with no overtime compensation. I am a medical assistant in a medical practice and am the only employee. I also watch her 2 year old daughter everyday. I work at least 10 hours a day to complete all the work that needs to get done due to the distractions that come along with watching a toddler. She also changed my start time in the morning from 8:30 am to 9:00 am without consult because she was mad I was late and a patient was waiting in the hallway. She is 25-30 minutes late daily, so it is my responsibility to open and close the practice.

Asked on May 5, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your employer has an absolute right to change your start time without consulting you or to make you open and close the practice: your employer, not you, sets your schedule and duties. That is one function of "employment at will," which is the law in this nation unless you have a written employment contract to the contrary: the employer has total control over the nature, duties, hours, rules, regulations, and compensation for the job. The employee's only right is to resign if she is not willng to work under those conditions.
She can also make watching her daughter part of your job.
The employer can also change you from hourly to salaried (or vice versa) at will without explanation: that is again part of employment of will--she decides how you are paid.
The one thing she does not have total control over is whether you are eligible for overtime: that is set by law. All hourly employees are eligible for overtime; *some* salaried employees are, too. You would get overtime--extra pay when you work more than 40 hours in a week--even if salaried if you are not exempt or non-exempt: that is, if you are not exempt from overtime. To be exempt, your salary must be at least $455/week, and your job must meet one of the specific "exemptions" which you can find on the U.S. Dept. of Labor website under "overtime." Go to that website and compare your duties and responsibilities to the different exemptions, especially to the administrative employeee exemption, which is likely the most relevant one for you. If your job meets at least one exemption and you earn at least $455/week in salary, you do not get overtime. 
But if you earn too little or you do not fall under at least one exemption, you should get overtime if you work more than 40 hours in a week. In that case, if you are not getting overtime, contact the state or federal department(s) of labor to file a complaint.

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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