Is there a labor law against working a salaried employee so many hours that it puts them working under minimum wage?

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Is there a labor law against working a salaried employee so many hours that it puts them working under minimum wage?

I do a lot of traveling with my company and I work in my office as well. Last week, I put in 84.7 hours and it put me at working for around $6.80 an hour. My boss says he can work me as many hours as he wants because I’m on salary.

Asked on August 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, your boss probably is right: if someone is salaried, they can made to work essentially any number of hours IF they are exempt from overtime. Some employees are salaried but yet are eligible for overtime--being salaried does not by itself make one exempt from overtime. To be exempt, an employee must be paid on a salaried basis and must also meet one or more of the tests for exemption. These tests (which can be found on the U.S. Department of Labor website) are based on your job duties or responsibilities: the main ones to review for office workers are the administrative, executive (or managerial), professional, and computer-worker tests. If your job does meet at least one test, you can be worked 24/7/365 without additional pay; but if you do not meet any of the tests, then even though you are paid on a salary basis, you are owed additional compensation when working more than 40 hours in a week.


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