If my contact says I need to work 40 hours a week but for the past 4 months I’ve been putting in 60 hours a week with no extra compensation, what can I do?

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If my contact says I need to work 40 hours a week but for the past 4 months I’ve been putting in 60 hours a week with no extra compensation, what can I do?

I am a salaried head chef at a restaurant. What would be my next best step to receive compensation for all the extra hours I’ve put in?

Asked on May 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are the head chef and are salaried, you most likely are NOT entitled to any extra compensation. First, the salary is all your base pay for the week, no matter how how many hours you work. (That's the whole point of a salary: you get it as your weekly pay regardless of hours worked.) Some salaried employees may get an overtime premium for working more than 40 hours per week (to oversimplify: if eligible for the premium, divide your weekly salary by 40 to find your equivalent hourly rate--for each hour past 40, if eligible, you get an amount equal to 50% of your effective hourly rate as a premium). However, if you earn more than approximately $23,600/year and also oversee 2 other employees or otherwise have considerable discretion or authority, or an advanced eductation/training in your field--and I assume one or more of these to be the case--you would be exempt from overtime under the labor law and not receive the premium. It would be very unusual for a head chef to not be exempt from overtime.


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