Are salaried employees entitled to overtime?

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Are salaried employees entitled to overtime?

My job requires salaried employees to work 54 hours a week. Can I get paid for overtime since I’m working 65 to 72 hours. Is there a max hours limit for salaried employees?

Asked on December 13, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no upper limit on how many hours a company can require an "exempt" employee to work, outside of a very few industries (e.g. airline pilots or truck drivers) where the hours are limited due to safety concerns.  However, the issue is not actually whether you are salaried; it is whether you are an exempt employee (i.e.someone who is exempt from overtime).  Just because you are salaried doesn't mean that you are necessarily "exempt" from certain labor laws. Being paid on a salary basis is part of the test for most forms of exemption, but it's not the only requirement.  The fact is that, it is possible to be salaried and to get overtime.

If you are "non-exempt", you must be paid overtime for hours worked past 40 in a week.  If, on the other hand, you are an exempt employee unless you have an employment contract that states otherwise, your employer may make you work unlimited hours without overtime. Without more details of your job it's hard for me to advise further. What you need to do now is to go to the your state's or the Department of Labor's website and check to see whther you qualify for "exempt" or "non-exempt" status.


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