Is it legal for a salary employee to be required to work over a 65 hour week for over 18 weeks straight with no additional compensation?

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Is it legal for a salary employee to be required to work over a 65 hour week for over 18 weeks straight with no additional compensation?

I was a Process Manage and 14 year employee with no direct reports or authority over personnel. About 1 1/2 years ago I was given a project to salvage that was on the verge of termination due to poor performance. The revised delivery schedule required excessive OT to meet due date. I was required to work 18 consecutive weeks at 65 hours a week (+450 hours OT) without any additional compensation. Project was delievered and accepted. Requests for OT pay, additional pay, comp time, etc. were denied. Am I eligible for any claim to pay for hours worked? I have printed signed/approved timesheets for this time.

Asked on June 29, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are salaried and exempt from overtime, you are not owed any additional compensation for working more than 40 hours per week, and may be required to work any number of hours a week, for weeks on end. If you are salaried but not exempt from overtime, you may still be required to work any number of hours, but would be entitled to additional compensation for hours over 40.

To be exempt, not only must you be salaried, but your job duties must meet one or more of the tests for exemption. The most common tests for somone without any reports would be the Administrative and the Professional (learned professional, in your case) tests. Go to the U.S. Department of Labor website, look up these tests, and compare them to your job. If you "pass" the tests, you are not owed additional compensation; but if your job does not meet their criteria, you may be owed additional pay. In that case, you should consult with an employment law attorney to discuss your case in greater depth. Good luck.


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