Longer hours requested, no more money for it ...

I work in a small private company as a manager and supervise 5 -6 employees. Our working week is 35 hours, but company has a right to extend it to 40 hours when needed. Such extensions happen and all other SALARIED employees are paid more, except me. I never expected any extra pay for extra time I volunteer (which is very often) but when it is an official work week extension, should I still be excluded from extra pay?

Thank you in advance,

Kristina

1 answer  |  asked Jul 6, 2005 8:45 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
Extra Pay for Extra Work

Your situation raises a host of questions, beginning with whether you are properly a salaried employee. The general rule is that all employees are hourly employees unless particular employees fall into certain exeptions to the law requiring employees to be paid on an hourly basis. Whether an employee falls into an exception depends on the nature of the work the employee performs.

In other words, an employee is not necessarily a salaried employee simply because an employer decides to pay the employee on a salary. Even employees with supervisory responsibilities can be hourly employees.

Whether you are salaried or not -- the proper terms are exempted or non-exempt -- is important because it determines whether you are entitled to overtime compensation. If you are non-exempt (that is, hourly), you are entitled to time-and-one-half for time exceeding 40 hours in a work week.

Note that your are not entitled to overtime until you exceed 40 hours, even if your normal workweek is less than 40 hours. In addition, if you took a day off in a week, for any reason, that may effect your entitlement to overtime, because for overtime purposes you count only time actually worked.

If we assume that you are properly a salaried (exempt) employee, the employer has a lot of discretion about paying you extra for extra work. About the only time I can think of where you might have a claim against an employer for not paying you extra, while paying other exempt employees extra, is if you can prove illegal discrimination.

Note that not all discrimination is illegal. An employer is entitled to single out a particular employee for special treatment, whether that is positive or negative. Only when an employer uses certain protected criteria for singling out particular employees for special treatment does the conduct potentially become illegal.

Thus, you might have something if your employer is failing to pay you extra for extra work because of, for example, your race, national origin, religion or gender.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Jul 7, 2005 08:32 AM [EST]

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