Do employees on a rate per week salary require a contract?

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Do employees on a rate per week salary require a contract?

I must work 50 hours a week. I get $500 a week but sometimes go over 50 hours. Does the employer need a contract or written agreement?

Asked on May 3, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Ok so a big red flag went up for me here.  What do you mean that you "must" work a 50 hour week?  There are department of labor standards in every state and they are generally for a 40 hour work week with any time over 40 hours considered to be over time and an entitlement to over time pay. I believe that the Ohio Department of Commerce - which I believe is what other states call their department of labor - has an wage and hour division.  I would contact them to discuss your situation here as soon as you can.  Here is the link:

http://www.com.ohio.gov/laws/

Otherwise consider an employment attorney.  Good luck to you.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) There is no requirement for a written contract, whether with an employee or an independent contractor.

2) If you actually are an employee, you may be owed overtime; employees must be paid overtime for working more than 40 hours in a week unless they are an "exempt" employee--that is, unless they meet one of the specific tests (e.g. executive employee; professional; administrative) for not receiving overtime *and* are paid on a salary basis. You can find more about when someone is an employee (vs. being an independent contract) and, if an employee, when they get overtime, at the Department of Labor website. Note that if an employee, not only should you probably be paid overtime--and can sue for back overtime--the employee should pay its share of FICA for you; you may be eligible for benefits; etc.

3) If you are an independent contractor (though if you work 50 hours/week for one employer, you're probably not), you can be paid $500/week no overtime. A written contract would be a good idea, but is not required.


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