can salaried employees be required to fill out a timesheet?

A reader writes:

I live in California and am a “salaried” employee. I receive the same rate of pay every two weeks. My boss requires me to fill out a timesheet with my actual time worked each day (e.g., I input that I arrive at 8:00 am, take a lunch from 12:30 pm – 1:00pm, and leave at 5:30 pm, for a total of 8.5 hours that day). Basically, like a timeclock but I hand-write my hours every day and hand the boss my timesheet at the end of the pay period. I generally skip lunch, work more than 8 hours in a day, and during some times of the year, I work 10-12 hour days. So the boss is requiring me to keep track of all these hours but yet I never receive more pay because I’m a “salaried” employee. I never had to keep a timesheet or punch a timeclock at any of my other four jobs while a salaried employee, so this seems odd to me.

In addition, the boss requires me to be in the office from 8-5 pm every day (during normal business hours). To keep up with my workload, I try to arrive at work early and stay late and also work weekends as needed, but the boss has a hard time if I were to occasionally come in at 10 am or leave at 3 pm to offset some of the extra hours I’ve been working. It’s as if I am expected to work an endless amount of hours. I do get a few weeks of vacation each year and take it when I can, but when I return to work from vacation I’m so far behind that I basically make up all of the hours I took off, so sometimes I feel it isn’t even worth taking the time off.

As a salaried employee, is it legal for the boss to require me to fill out this timesheet?

As a salaried employee, am I required to be at the office during certain hours of the day without any flexibility as to when I can come and go (as described above, on occasion)?

Is there a resource (other than an expensive attorney) you can point me to so I can research these types of labor laws so I have a better understanding of what is expected of me as a salaried employee?

First, I’m going to assume that when you say you’re salaried, you’re also exempt — because that’s the relevant part here. For anyone who’s not clear on the term: The government classifies all workers as exempt or non-exempt. Non-exempt workers must be paid overtime (time and a half) for any hours over 40 they work in a single week. Exempt workers are exempt from overtime requirements — but they must be paid the same salary every week, if they worked any portion of it, with a few narrow exceptions. I’m going to assume for the rest of this question that you are in fact exempt (although note that it’s possible to be both salaried and non-exempt — confusing but true).

As an exempt employee, you have to be paid your same salary amount each week, whether you only worked 10 hours that week or whether you worked 50. (Your employer does have the option of paying you overtime if they choose to, but that’s entirely at their discretion; they just can’t dock your pay.)

However, that has nothing to do with time-tracking. Your employer can absolutely require you to track your time, and there are plenty of legitimate reasons to do that, like billing clients, tracking resources allocated to particular projects, or knowing how much time off you’ve used. Many, many employers have exempt employees report their hours for these reasons.

As long as your employer isn’t taking deductions from your paycheck based on the number of hours you worked, there’s no legal issue here. No law prevents an employer from requiring time tracking — only from changing exempt employees’ pay based on it.

It’s also perfectly legal for an employer to require exempt employees to work particular hours — to say that you must be present and working between 8 and 5, for instance. Of course, if you don’t meet their required hours, they can’t dock your pay. But they can certainly require you to work those hours as part of the job and fire you if you don’t. (Whether they should or not is a different issue; in many jobs, it’s much more reasonable to allow you to come in late or leave early if you’re working long hours on other days. But that’s just about what’s reasonable, not about the law.)

The laws on exempt and non-exempt status govern only how you’re paid, not how you’re treated.

{ 154 comments… read them below }

  1. EnnVeeEl*

    I’m a government employee. I am exempt. I fill out timesheets.

    It’s not my favorite activity, but I just shrug and do them.

    Telework also isn’t allowed, but I have flexibility due to some standing health appointments or if the cable guy is coming.

    Basically I have to do what they tell me to. Typical when you work for someone else. I continue to play the lottery and hope for the best.

    1. MommaTRex*

      As an exempt government employee, I either have to cover less than 40 hours with PTO or it will actually be docked from my pay. It’s something special for exempt government employees because governments can’t make “gifts” of public funds.

  2. AdAgencyChick*

    Of course they can make you track your time. I’ve never worked at an ad agency that didn’t make me track mine, because even though I am salaried exempt, my clients are billed by the hour for my services. So my firm needs to know what projects I was working on, and for how long, in order to accurately bill clients.

    Re: hours worked, some bosses are flexible and realize that if you work 12 hours one day, it might be nice to let you work 5 hours the next day. And some are not; some expect you to be there during normal hours regardless of how much you’ve been working other days. Of course it’s nice to have the former rather than the latter, but it’s not a guarantee in life.

    1. AdAgencyChick*

      Also, even if your time tracking isn’t important in terms of billing clients, it may be important for productivity metrics and staffing. If everyone in a department is routinely logging 50- to 60-hour weeks, it’s a red flag (or, one hopes it is) to the head of that department that it’s time to hire some more help.

      1. AP*

        Agree, there are plenty of reasons that employers might want to track your hours that might not be apparent right away. I work at a tiny company and we outsource our payroll, and the payroll company happens to require timecards so that they have a written/signed copy of everything, and so, voila…we all fill out timecards every week. I consider it “handwriting” practice.

    2. Judy*

      Similarly in engineering (corporate product design), we have to assign our time to projects, or other buckets like training, non-project meetings, vacation, sick. Projects are sized into 5 sizes, and the time is used for our estimation models when starting a project. For example, a “mega” project should use x resources from y departments for z months, but much more complicated than that, with resource curving.

      I’ve heard that there are new tax advantages to “capitalization of design resources” where they can offset the profits of a product based on the effort used to create it. We’ve started getting reminders to be accurate in our time tracking.

  3. Chinook*

    The boss may also be using your timesheet that show you have to work so many long hours to make the point to his superiors that his department is understaffed. The only way to prove that you can’t do the work allotted during office hours may be the timesheets which show all those extra hours worked.

  4. Employment lawyer*

    Also: Many salaried employees are also misclassified. Tracking hours is a control on employer liability if a wage claim is brought. I tell all my employer clients to track hours of salaried employees.

    1. Jessa*

      Exactly. Besides why wouldn’t you track your hours as a matter of general record keeping.

  5. Zahra*

    One thing that Alison didn’t address: If you are working so many hours (I’d say over 50-60/week), can you make a list of tasks you do and ask your manager that you feel overwhelmed and would like to know which tasks are a priority and which ones you can let go. If everything is a priority, push back, because if everything is a priority, there’s no priority (there’s no task(s) more important than others).

  6. Cathy*

    This is nit-picking, but if he happens to be non-exempt and he’s in California, then he’s entitled to overtime pay for every hour over 8 hours in a day. The 40-hrs-per-week rule you quoted is the Federal law. California law is stricter.

    I’m also exempt, and a Director, and I fill out timesheets too.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yes. Assume that every post here has an implied disclaimer: “California may be different, as it functions like its own country where labor law is concerned.”

      1. Cathy*

        LOL, well since he started off with “I live in California…” it seemed reasonable to be explicit in this case. And believe me, as a California employee, I’m grateful every day for the labor laws here.

        1. EngineerGirl*

          It’s a double edged sword. Our corporation has several sites. Even when the California group wins a contract, the actual work is pushed elsewhere as the labor is cheaper and the laws are easier. As a result, the California campus is experiencing massive layoffs.

  7. KayDay*

    Umm, not only is this legal, it’s totally normal.

    Yes, different companies, and even different bosses with in a company, have different policies about how strictly they monitor when exactly you are at work, and how closely you track your time. Many employers are more flexible than what you described. But many are just as strict. Time-tracking is important because overhead expenses are often allocated based on the hours you work on a particular project, and having an idea of how long a project will take is important for budgeting. I’ve always had to fill out a timesheet at salaried jobs (with varying degrees of precise-ness).

    I’m looking forward to any comments from lawyers or other billable-hours folks, who have to track their time to the minute….

    1. Daisy*

      My mother’s a lawyer and has to divide the day into six-minute blocks and account for each one. (She makes a point of writing FILLING OUT TIMESHEET over at least 4 of them).

        1. Chinook*

          I did 6 minute blocks as an admin in an accounting firm and I learned to get used to it. On the plus side, they had computer timers that you could drag and drop onto your timesheet. I don’t want to imagine what it was like when it had to be done by hand.

          1. the gold digger*

            I had to do that when I worked at the IRS. There was a code for everything – including for the six minutes you spent completing the time sheet.

        2. Mike C.*

          Eh, it’s tenths of an hour. I don’t have to account for every block, but it’s not that difficult to enter in “9.2 Hours” at the end of the day.

          1. Cat*

            It is pretty soul-destroying when you have to do it for every individual matter you’re working on, though, which might involve:

            .1 hr. – e-mail client on Matter X.
            .3 hr. – phone call on Matter Y.
            .2 hr. – conversation with co-worker about Matter Z.

            My firm does quarters of an hour which is bad enough; tenths of an hour (which a few of our clients want) is frankly horrible to keep track of accurately.

    2. EM*

      I’m a consultant, and I track my time in 15 min increments. It’s really not a big deal. I mean, yeah I’d rather not have to bother, but this is one of those things that one deals with when they have a job. You also have to work on tasks you don’t love because its one of your duties.

      1. Anonymous*

        I work in a marketing function for a consulting firm and I too track my time in 15 minute increments! It’s not a big deal and it is a really good way to validate/justify if you are understaffed. You can run a report and prove that you are working too much. For that reason I track ALL my time, even if it’s just a half hour on email in the evening.

  8. Beth*

    In all of my exempt positions, time sheets have been filled out. I was surprised in one position to find out that a time sheet was being filled out, because I didn’t fill it out. But, an office manager did it for all of the exempt employees. My pay never varied, but they still tracked vacation, sick time, personal time, etc.. In that case, exact time in and out wasn’t tracked, because the office manager didn’t know when we arrived and left. But when I have had to fill these out myself (most recently in online systems) I have had to put time in and out. It does make sense for employers to be able to see just how many hours a week you’re actually working, even if your salary doesn’t vary.

    A couple things… if you’re exempt, you’re SUPPOSED to work as many hours as it takes for the work to be done. Wanting to arrive late and leave early to off-set the extra hours you’re working amounts to comp time… which is generally non-existent in exempt offices (although some places do it kind of off the books to be nice especially when people are lower-paid exempt and working really long hours.)

    And, as AAM said, there is nothing wrong with requiring certain work hours. Exempt doesn’t mean that you can just choose your own schedule. The workplace still has certain needs and in many cases people need to be there roughly when all the other employees are there, or when clients are there, or whatever.

    I am also assuming by “salaried” you mean exempt. It is common for employees to consider themselves to be “salaried” when they are not exempt, especially in white collar positions. I have had two positions where my pay never varied (technically I would be eligible for overtime if it were approved, but it was rarely approved because there was no need for it.) I had ample sick, vacation, and personal time, so I was never docked for taking time off. Different time was coded differently, though.

    1. The IT Manager*

      I was surprised in one position to find out that a time sheet was being filled out, because I didn’t fill it out. But, an office manager did it for all of the exempt employees.

      Ha. I am salaried, non-exempt, but there’s an admin who fills in my timesheet for (and everyone else) every week. He uses my scheduled work hours unless I put in for time off through my supervisor. And if I work OT, I get approval from my supervisor first and then he’ll tell the admin to add those hours to my timesheet.

    2. The IT Manager*

      you’re SUPPOSED to work as many hours as it takes for the work to be done. Wanting to arrive late and leave early to off-set the extra hours you’re working amounts to comp time… which is generally non-existent in exempt offices (although some places do it kind of off the books to be nice especially when people are lower-paid exempt and working really long hours.)

      I do disagree with this statement though. You are supposed work as many hours as it takes for the work to be done within reason. And that number should probably average 45 – 60 hours a week for a normal job (ie I mean not a high pressure, high profile, pay your dues to make it big time) over the course of the year. If your working much more than that as a junior, mid-level employee with no expectations of great things to come, you’re probably being overworked. What I am trying to convey is that some jobs inherently come with crazy long hours but not all salaried ones do.

      One of the perk of the exempt jobs is that flexibility to arrive late and leave early on occasion. I have been salaried and took unofficial comp time before. i.e. My plane arrives late (from a business trip), I’ll be in a few hours late tomorrow. Or the guy that left early a couple of days a week to coach his son’s baseball team. On average a salaried person should be working a standard week, but if someone busted their butt to get a big project done last week and this week is slow I don’t see a problem with arriving late or leaving early on occasion. I’m not talking an hour for hour comp.

      1. Beth*

        Yes, within reason, but the OP didn’t suggest that she was being asked to work ridiculously long hours. I think “ridiculously long hours” also varies with compensation. The exempt status is abused in some cases, even though the job might (or might not…) technically fit the criteria for one or more type of exempt. There are some clerical workers who are paid the bare minimum required for exempt employees and an expectation that they work even 45 hours a week is, in my opinion, exploitation.

        The problem I have with the OP’s stance is that he/she is looking at arriving late or leaving early as a way to off-set extra hours worked. That’s just not how exempt positions work. Most, but NOT all exempt positions do allow a fair amount of flexibility, but you’re coming at the concept from (it seems) a certain type of office/profession. There are other exempt positions where that type of “I’ve gotta leave early to go to my kid’s baseball game,” doesn’t really fly. I’ve had a super-relaxed and flexible exempt position, and a super-rigid one.

        1. Jamie*

          There are some clerical workers who are paid the bare minimum required for exempt employees and an expectation that they work even 45 hours a week is, in my opinion, exploitation.

          I agree with this and I had a discussion with a labor attorney once when he said you wouldn’t believe how often some admins are misclassified as exempt when they don’t meet the criteria. It’s usually done without malice, but sometimes to get OT without having to pay it.

          A little PSA – but it’s important to know your position and how the law classifies your status. It’s up to an employer to decide if you’re salaried or hourly, but the law determines who is except and not.

          PSA 2 for people moving from hourly to salary – I cannot tell you how many people end up making less money because they calculate their hourly rate without OT and think they are getting a small raise. Take what you actually make including OT, not just straight time, as your baseline when you crunch your numbers for negotiation. Some people can work a couple of years before they are earning what they used to with OT if they calculate incorrectly.

          1. Beth*

            It’s so funny you mention people going from hourly to salaried and making less money because I was going to mention that. I had a coworker – a woman in her early 50s who came from a blue collar job background – who pushed and pushed and pushed to be made exempt/salaried. She felt it provided a certain “status” hourly didn’t (prestige-wise.) After the manager gave her some other duties to justify changing her classification she proceeded (for years) to keep a private spreadsheet of all her hours worked to prove that her salary was too low. She was very much in the mindset of the hourly employee, figuring how much her salary amounted to, on an hourly basis. She shot herself in the foot on that one. She tried to get changed back, but they wouldn’t change her.

            It is a little demoralizing to be salaried exempt, in job grades higher than hourly non-exempt, and realize that you’re making quite a bit less than the highest paid hourly workers do with overtime. (Especially when you’re not comparing your job to, say, dangerous labor-intensive work.) In some cases, people are making a LOT less (tens of thousands of dollars) per year than the highest-paid hourly overtime eligible employees at their company are making.

            I think there are some admins who technically meet the criteria (autonomy, etc…. I’d have to look at the criteria again) but who are simply extremely low-paid. To me there is a mismatch between the minimum pay required for exempt employees (I think it’s like $451 per week, amounting to a little over $23,000 per year) and the job criteria required. If someone meets the criteria, they should be worth more than that, particularly in higher cost of living areas. I think the exempt status has evolved from something applied to management to something applied to all sorts of white collar positions. It’s one thing for relatively highly-compensated employees to be exempt, but it’s another for someone making a little over $23,000 a year for a full-time position to be exempt (particularly if they are actually required to work beyond 40 hours a week.)

            1. Jamie*

              She felt it provided a certain “status” hourly didn’t (prestige-wise.)

              I have seen this so many times – always from people on the office side of things. The people who work in production are acutely aware that exempt = giving up OT and don’t embrace the concept.

              It’s not a status thing – no one cares – heck if I could swing non-exempt and start pulling OT I’d stop off at the car dealer on the way home.

              1. Lisa M*

                ye gods and little fishes — YES.

                I’m having this ‘conversation’ with my professional staff now. They all want to be salaried because it feels more “professional” but a) I can’t manage to create roles and responsibilities for them that qualify for the exemption and b) some of them would be giving up $1000s, which c) they don’t understand why we (Mgmt) don’t just give them pay increases to balance.


                1. Jamie*

                  Just tell them that if management made them all exempt and equaled out the OT with raises this (formerly) OT money would move from a variable cost to a fixed cost which gives a business less control over the bottom line.

                  And while they could be made salaried but still remain non-exempt management would still be required to pay OT, and they could still be docked for time missed…but it makes bookkeeping a lot more complicated for payroll and no one wants a crabby payroll admin.

                  I totally don’t get the mindset…at some point most people’s careers will advance to where they are legally exempt and they too will have the joy of unpaid OT. Until then enjoy the money.

                2. Jamie*

                  Lisa – every so often “just for fun” my husband calculates what I would make if I were paid OT.

                  Nothing fun about that – pisses me off for weeks.

                3. Jessa*

                  So many times yes. I do not get why people cannot figure out their compensation properly. Heck just look at your W2 from the year before. Geez. They end up really in the hole.

          2. Josh S*

            My first real job out of college I ended up getting an informal promotion. They didn’t have budget to hire another Supervisor, so they gave me the responsibilities of Supervisor even though I was only a Sr. Worker.

            The thing was, the responsibilities of Supervisor basically demanded a 55+ hour work week. So that meant I was getting paid the equivalent of 62.5 hours/week (40hrs + 15*1.5hrs = 62.5). And getting paid for that many hours meant I was collecting a salary about $10k more than the other Supervisors.

            In order to get an actual promotion (involving a title change), I’d have had to take a $10k pay cut for doing the same work the same way.

            And remember, they didn’t have the budget to add a Supervisor and take away a Sr. Worker position. The silly corporate accounting logic makes me chuckle to this day.

    3. ThursdaysGeek*

      I’ve only worked one place where I didn’t fill out a timesheet. In that case, my boss sometimes remembered to tell the person tracking vacation when I was out, and sometimes he didn’t remember. I was told once that I had some number of vacation hours and I had to correct her, that no, I had a lot fewer than that, because I’d taken some time, but she hadn’t been told.

  9. Sarah*

    I am a full-time salaried, exempt worker. I also clock in and out. It’s a silly system. My boss started this procedure before I arrived because “the old employees were not putting in their 40 hours.” Well, now that we’re all tracking our hours, we all know we work more than 40 hours a week. This has allowed us to build up “flex time.” Mind you, we don’t have an official flex time policy and our parent institution would probably have a heart attack if they knew we did this. I’ve built up so much flex time that I’ve had an additional 3 vacations (3-4 days each) in the last 8 months without having to take any PTO. So in some ways, it’s worked for me. However, some of our staff members will never be able to take their flex time (our receptionist has over 100 hours built up). This system is flawed. It would be better if our boss told us we had to just work adjusted schedules the same week when we worked a Saturday or an evening event, or that we couldn’t build up more than 20 hours…something like that. I honestly feel this has back fired on her, but if she stopped it, she would have to admit that she was wrong.

    1. Chinook*

      Your receptionist has OT stored as flex time that she will never be able to use? Allison, please tell me that that is not legal. I would think that receptionists are non-exempt because we are talking about a group of workers that often have to get permission (in the way of coverage) to go to the bathroomor go for lunch. I can think of no better way to loose a good receptionist than to overwork her like that.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Yes, if that 100 hours of flextime really represents 100 hours of overtime (i.e., hours more than 40 that she worked in a week), then this is illegal (assuming she’s non-exempt, which a receptionist almost certainly is — unless reception is only a tiny fraction of her duties, which is possible).

        You cannot use comp time in place of overtime, unless you’re a government employee (because government has hypocritically given themselves an exception from the law).

        1. Beth*

          Allison, what are the laws for, shall we say, “voluntary” overtime? I have worked positions which were white collar non-exempt positions. The work was of a type where overtime was almost never needed. Occasionally if there was some big backlog of work, overtime would be put into place, and we could choose to work extra hours, and be paid extra. But most of the time, overtime was not approved, and we all knew this. None of us were expected to work extra hours.

          In one of these places of employment, though, we could CHOOSE to work extra hours when overtime was not in place, but only for hour-per-hour off-the-books comp time. Everyone liked this because it gave us an opportunity to earn more time off, but no one was required or expected to work any extra hours. It was just a nice perk. Is that technically illegal? Employees were choosing to work extra and not being asked to work extra, and knew that overtime is not approved. It seems the alternative would just be to shut the whole program down, not pay for overtime, since the extra hours weren’t imposed by the employer.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Yes, it’s illegal (although very common). I agree with you that it sucks when you have employees who genuinely want to do something like what you describe and choose comp time, and the law doesn’t allow it. Proponents of our current system will tell you that the law is there to protect workers who would otherwise be pressured into working overtime against their will and not paid for it, but I’d argue that these laws were set up in a much earlier time and were designed to deal with factory workers, not office workers. I think they need to be scrapped.

            1. Jamie*

              ITA – I hear this a lot…non-exempt people asking to bank comp time for OT rather than being paid out because they want to extend their vacation time. The law ties our hands – but this is something in which a lot of people would like to have a choice.

              1. Aimee*

                One of the problems with allowing for Comp time instead of overtime pay is exactly what the receptionist in this situation is experiencing – you build up a lot of time, but aren’t allowed to take it.

                I’d be for a law that allows companies to have OT/comp time policies (whether the employer determines which it is, or allows the employee to choose which they want) as long as there is a cap on the amount of comp time able to be banked – once the employee reaches that amount, they must be allowed to use it, or be paid out (at overtime rates) for anything over that. Also, if they leave the company, they must be paid out for any banked comp time at overtime rates.

                I think a law like that would do the job of protecting employees’ rights while still offering up some of the flexibility a lot of them want.

                1. Sarah*

                  I think she (receptionist) and another employee (was was 30 hrs/week but working 40 hrs/week because she likes the job and that was what the workload required) know they aren’t going to get to use those hours. Essentially it was volunteer OT, but that’s also the culture our director has created. No one has work/life balance here. It’s definitely not right (and from what you’re saying, not legal).

                2. KS*

                  ” once the employee reaches that amount, they must be allowed to use it, or be paid out “—THIS is key. I’ve been capped on vacay for two years. When I request time off I am told, “what do you need time off for?”….or..”this isn’t a good time.”

                3. GeekChic*

                  Your proposed law is exactly how my current union contract works. It works well and ensures that people get to either take time off or get paid out.

                4. AL Lo*

                  In Canada, the comp/OT policy is that, as long as it’s agreed upon in writing, employees can bank overtime as comp time — at 1.5 to 1 ratio (so basically the same as they’d be getting paid if OT was paid out). Lieu time needs to be taken within 3 months of earning the time — or within 12 months if that was explicitly agreed upon in writing. At the end of that, the OT needs to be paid out at 1.5x normal rate.

                  (Overtime is also defined as >44 hours/week.)

                  There are obviously exceptions, but in general, that’s the rule. Seems like that’s pretty much the real-life example of Aimee’s comment.

                5. Marie*

                  AL Lo, I bet you are in Ontario.

                  The labor laws are different fromprovince to province, except for a few federal jurisdiction. For example, over time id after 40 hours in Quebec

          2. Kay*

            Question- if you are salaried exempt can an employer make you work 45 hours a week ? And if you have to time clock even breaks can the dock anything under 45 hours if you work over 40?

        2. Sarah*

          Her main duties is to be a receptionist (greet visitors, answer phones) but she also does some admin work (process invoices, daily cash log, etc.). We are state employees (Louisiana). I’m not sure what the state laws are on this.

            1. Jamie*

              State employee? Isn’t this that weird governmental gray area?

              My husband is a cop and after all these years of marriage I still can’t figure out his OT, comp time, comp time at time and a half…it’s so different than the private sector.

              1. Chinook*

                I am so glad the cops in red up here atleast don’t do the comp time thing and it is pure OT (unless it is voluntary OT which they don’t get paid for at all and can include ceremonial stuff where they actually wear the stetson and shiny boots). With the staffing levels at DH’s detachment, it is hard enough for them to get time off for courses and vacations as it is – I couldn’t imagine them having to cover for comp time a well.

                On the plus side, their vacation time is carried forward indefinitely, so atleast if they don’t take it they do eventually get paid for it. I think they are the only government job that gets to do this, though, and it is purely due to low staffing levels.

                1. Jamie*

                  Our have to use it or lose it – the time. My husband is burning two weeks as we speak and I am inexplicably angry at him when I get up for work and see him just laying there all…sleeping. ugh.

            2. Kat*

              Question- if you are salaried exempt can an employer make you work 45 hours a week ? And if you have to time clock even breaks can the dock anything under 45 hours if you work over 40?

          1. Natalie*

            Since your state employees, are you unionized? If so, this sounds like something she should talk to her union about as it’s probably covered by the collective bargaining agreement.

            1. Sarah*

              None of us belong to a union. We’re all unclassified employees. Not sure if that makes a difference.

        3. Ruby*

          Wouldn’t 100 hours of unpaid overtime really equate to 150 hours of flextime, since overtime is a 1.5x regular rate?

      2. Sarah*

        “Lunch” is also very loose for our receptionist – another law my employer is breaking. If she wanted her 30 minute lunch, we would definitely cover the desk. But most days she doesn’t ask, so I’m not sure if there’s anything we as co-workers can do. The 100 hours is time built up over a few months. She’s at 35 hrs/week and probably works 5hrs overtime every week.

        1. Chinook*

          You say that there is nothing you cowrkers can do because the receptionist doesn’t ask for lunch? There is plenty you can do – go up to her at a reasonable time and kick her off the desk and tell her not to come back for an hour. I have done this to people (including my boss) and have had it done for me. I have also kicked people out when they were too sick to work even when I wasn’t their supervisor, going as far as calling them a cab (I told them I didn’t want their germs at work). Sometimes you get so swamped or stuck in thinking you are indispensble that you do need someone to say they will handle it for you.

          1. Jessa*

            Thank you. Exactly. There is no reason someone cannot fix this in this manner.

    2. Lora*

      Oh, dude, my boss did this with a bunch of salaried people whose hours do not get billed to anyone in particular. It was an exercise in demoralization. I never get to take flex time either. I never get to take weekends or vacations or sick time, I’ve gotten frantic calls from work when I was in the hospital, and a lecture from the boss on the importance of answering my company cell *when I was at the nuclear medicine center, getting radiation treatments*. He wants this to go on ad infinitum so he can justify getting more people.

      After a few meetings with project teams, it became clear that he had absolutely no idea how much paperwork and processes and editing and training was involved in making even small changes, and he had no clue whatsoever how much work was reasonable for one person to do. He shouted at people for not getting things done quickly–the equivalent of shouting at someone because they haven’t even climbed Mount Everest, so how dare you call yourself a hiker!

      There are better ways to collect that information in a much shorter time frame, especially when you combine it with Management By Walking Around, so you can understand what it is people actually do all day, rather than sitting them down and saying, “tell me what you do here, in 15 minutes.” And, you know, half a teaspoon of empathy.

  10. Jessie's Money*

    I am also salaried (non-except) and fill out a time sheet – both for overtime and to track where to bill my time. We have codes for everything from internal meetings, training, to billable work for a client.

    1. Jazzy Red*

      We do that our company, too. It’s so ingrained in me that I “think” in 6 minute increments even at home (“let’s see, it will take me .4 hours to clean the bathroom”).

  11. Erica B*

    I’m salaried, exempt, work for the state and I fill out a time sheet. I don’t think it’s that uncommon. Like the OP I’m not allowed to be paid OT, so if we end up working more than 40 hrs/wk we earn Comp Time, which we can use in lieu of putting in for personal/vacation or whatever. I am lucky that my work is flexible in that aspect.

    It sounds to me like the OP is consistently working 40+ hrs/wk and not getting compensated.
    Someone above mentioned asking about prioritizing, and I think that is a great place to start. If the Manager says “it’s all equally important” than you need to stop working OT, so your boss can see that there is more work than day, and that you either need an assistant or need to work out a way for you to be compensated for your OT, something like comp time (which is what you are currently trying to do.) You and your manager have the proof that you are working OT, so just speak to him.

    I just did a quick search for “california labor laws” and got this states have laws on the internet now

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      The thing is, though, that’s there’s really no such thing as “overtime’ in exempt positions. You’re expected to put in the time it takes to get the job done. You can certainly talk to your boss and say it’s not sustainable for you to be working this many hours and ask for help in prioritizing, but you shouldn’t approach it as “I must be compensated for this time in either pay or comp time,” because that’s not how most exempt jobs work … not on a strictly 1:1 basis, anyway.

      1. Chinook*

        And I would think that she is getting compensated for the “extra” hours she works because she negotiated a salary that reflects the fact that she would be working more than a 40 hour work week. If I remember right, one of the rules to make you exempt is that your minimum salary has to be above a certain amount.

        I think the biggest thing to wrap your head around is realizing that non-exempt means you shouldn’t try and figure out what your hourly wage really is. For example, (Canadian) teachers are usually exempt but some of them do the math and realize that they would make, hourly, if they were babysitters but aren’t taking into consideration that they wouldn’t be working the same hours and their annual salary wouldn’t be the same by far.

        1. Jamie*

          This – so much. It’s not an hour for hour thing…it’s a more general overall is the workload acceptable for me and am I being compensated fairly for that work.

          If you have an exempt job that will routinely require time over 40 each week – or if you’re on call and dealing with emergencies when you’re off…you don’t track the hours but you make sure your salary is fair when you factor those things in.

          Would I work for less money if I had a straight 40 job where I was done at the end of the day – no nights, no weekends, not constantly on call. Sure. But there is no amount of money for which I would agree to work what I felt was undoable and excessive for me.

          It is absolutely a different mind-set and it’s hard when you first make the jump from non-expemt to exempt…but you have to think of it differently or you will go crazy.

        2. TL*

          The minimum amount for being exempt is $24,000/yr.

          Which is more than minimum wage, sure, but it’s not exactly the big time bucks that make a 60 hr week worth it.

          1. Jamie*

            For computer professionals it’s $455 per week if salary or fee basis but not less than 27.63 per hour if paid hourly. Makes no sense to me as it’s a huge gap between the 23,660 is paid salary but 57,470 if hourly.

      2. Erica B*

        I didn’t think of it like that. There are indeed some jobs that require long weeks, and it is understood from the get-go. Maybe they are already being compensated in pay, knowing the job is more than 40 hrs/wk. I just got the vibe here that this is a job where she is expected to work only the 40, but is working way more and she thinks it’s not reasonable. Some people can’t afford to work extra long days long term for whatever reason. I would hope that her manager is reasonable and hear her concerns.

        My job is listed as a 40 hr/wk position and on occasion I have to travel for 3 days and work 12 hour days. Like I said, I am lucky that they allow for the use of comp time. Also, I feel clueless when it comes to “normal” jobs, as I have had this job for 9 years, and my previous job was hourly. I don’t know what the norm is.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I think the key question there would be whether they lower her pay in weeks when she works less than 40 hours. If not, she’s still being treated as exempt (just entitled to comp time as a perk).

        1. Erica B*

          me? I don’t get docked time. If I work less than 40 hours normally I put in PTO. Our comp time rule is “unofficial”. I work for nice people who know that we need to work OT occasionally and can’t get paid time and a half so they are flexible. Also it’s not detrimental to our work to allow this.

            1. Erica B*

              it is, and the amount of comp time earned from the OT is 12 hours every quarter, not nickle and diming every hour on a normal weekly basis.

            2. Joey*

              It’s nice but its generally not something that goes over well with the public- exempt employees getting extra compensation (tax dollars) for the same work they’re already being paid to do.

              1. Erica B*

                Well if it makes you feel better, I am grant funded (not tax payer money) and earn the least of of all my co-workers (>35k). I am non-union & rarely get raises as a result. I got a 1% raise last year because the base pay for all non-unit exempt was increased 1%. My boss was nice earlier last year and gave me 1.5% increase out of sympathy because I kept getting messages from the university stating that everyone on campus, except non-unit exempt, were getting 3% (or often more) increases, and I get these messages every spring. That was the first raise I received in probably 3 years. To get 2 in one year is unheard of, and it was just a coincidence. I think this was the first time (in 9 yrs) that there was a base pay increase. (second at the most). I stay at this job because of the flexibility with the hours, and the health insurance is reasonable, as it is mandatory in my state to have. My husband is a teacher, and insurance is just unaffordable through his work.

              2. Jamie*

                I would think this comp time set-up is cheaper for the tax payers than having to hire additional staff or a temp to manage workload.

                And if they didn’t treat them well or manage workload…turn over costs a ton of money. This is just reasonable management to me.

              3. Cat*

                As a taxpayer in the private sector, I think “the public” can shove it. People who’s jobs are funded with taxpayers are not my personal slaves who I can work to death because it’s “my money.” They deserve decent working conditions and some flexibility in their lives just like anyone else.

                1. Anonymous*

                  As a hard working but reasonable public sector employee thank you.

                  I think this comes up in my former realm of non-profit work too. You are expected to work harder and more and for less because…you do good work? What?! No I want to not add to the problem of homelessness, unemployment, underemployment, etc…

      2. Jamie*

        Some exempt employees get comp time – my deal is pretty common in that I get comp time if I have to work a weekend or a Holiday because I need to do an upgrade with no users in the system and this is the least disruptive. I don’t mind and I have the time to use as I see fit. I also get comp time when I work over our two shutdowns a year because I need to do inventory reconciliation (and other stuff) while the ERP is locked down and before production resumes. It’s an audit thing…so while most of the company is off for a week + me and a small team work and get comped so we can take the time we’d otherwise be taking over shut down at another time.

        And that is hour for hour, because I routinely end up between 70-86 hours those weeks and my bosses appreciate this and we both like this agreement.

        My too specific point was – some exempt people do get comp time in some circumstances – common in IT. It’s maybe 1% of the “OT” I work in a year…to do it for every day I stayed late, came in early, or worked a night or weekend would be crazy – I’d never think to ask. But it’s not incompatible with being exempt.

        1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

          Way back early in my IT career – I used to get 1.5 “comp hours” for every hour I worked in an off-shift, outside of 8-6 Mon-Friday.

          It was really nice — earned an extra vacation week every year.

  12. Liz in the City*

    I wonder if the OP’s boss is encouraging her to include lunches on days she skipped them or to not include hours over the regular 8-5? Otherwise, I don’t see anything wrong with this arrangement. Some bosses understand that people need to see the doctor during normal hours. Others think you’re superhuman.

  13. sab*

    I am an OK state education system salaried employee, and we fill out forms at the end of each month (salaried are paid monthly) of our time in/out. I always figured we have to account for our time since we’re paid with state funds.

  14. Christine*

    I concur with everything else said. I just wanted to say that, thanks to this site, I’m FINALLY beginning to understand the whole salaried/hourly/exempt/non-exempt conundrum. AAM is the best! :D

  15. Jamie*

    the boss has a hard time if I were to ocassionally come in at 10 am or leave at 3 pm to offset some of the extra hours I’ve been working.

    Let me preface this by saying I’m a big believer in treating people like adults and if they give more when they have to the company should be just as flexible, imo.

    That said – are you just coming in late and leaving early without letting them know (or asking the boss, depending on culture and position)? In my case my hours can be very weird – so if I’m coming in late because I worked until 10:30 the night before I will send my boss and the receptionist a heads up email. And sometimes I need to be there early and stay late – no matter how much good will I have banked because of work circumstances.

    On the other hand, if it’s a matter of your company wanting you to work extra often when needed, but showing no flexibility when you need some …you have to decide if that’s a culture that works for you.

    For me personally, it absolutely works out in my employers favor…so if I were to be nickel and dimed about time when I needed it…well, I might be less generous with my own free time.

    Being a team player and staying when needed is like banking good will. There is a problem if you’re never able to make a withdrawal from the good will bank…and you’re in trouble if the balance goes negative.

    1. Chinook*

      On behalf of the receptionist, thank you for letting her know that you are coming in late. There is nothing more frustrating than having people ask you where so-and-so is and can you track them down when they aren’t in the office. If she can tell them that IT is unavailable at the moment, it saves headaches for her and, sometimes, the person with the issue.

    2. The IT Manager*

      +1 Yeah. That’s what I was trying to say about the “perk” of being exempt, but you said it better than me.

      Being a team player and staying when needed is like banking good will. There is a problem if you’re never able to make a withdrawal from the good will bank…and you’re in trouble if the balance goes negative.

  16. The IT Manager*

    All those things are legal of course and most even seem normal.

    I required to be at the office during certain hours of the day without any flexibility as to when I can come and go this perfectly legal and very normal, but I wonder is it necessary. If your job requires support for or interactions with co-worker or customers then this makes sense. It seems like the LW doesn’t see the sense so this could be an example of bad management where a blanket where a rule is enforced on everyone for ease of enforcement or “fairness.” If you think your boss is reasonable (and there’s no reason you have to be in the office during set hours), you can ask for some leeway on days when you are no overburndened with work.

    It does sound like you are consistantly overworked -always behind. If you believe that you’re fully trained, qualified, and efficient, it might be worth asking to have some tasks taken off your plate. But that requires the knowledge of a lot of nuiance that’s impossible to convey in a letter. It also could be an expectation of the job – that this is one of those 80 -100 a week jobs. If that’s the case and that’s not what you want it may be time to start looking for a new one.

  17. PhilD*

    I understood that if a salaried employee is scheduled to work and they fail to come into the office, that they can be forced to spend PTO/Sick Day/Vacation to cover it.

    In the event the employee doesn’t have any time to spend, they loose a day’s worth of pay.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      They can absolutely be made to take PTO to cover it. However, if they don’t have any time to spend, their pay cannot be docked. They can be disciplined in other ways, up to and including firing, however.

      1. OR*

        If the reason the person cannot come into the office can be attributed to a family medical leave related event, the employer CAN dock the pay and cannot discipline the person.

  18. Marina*

    Related question–I’m exempt, but our timesheet program seems to not handle exempt employees well, so I’m supposed to record 40 hours a week whether I’ve worked 30 or 50. Is there anything about this that could bite me in the butt? (or bite my organization?) I haven’t wanted to start a crusade over something so tiny if it’s not harming anything, but… if there is any potential harm I’d like to know.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      No. If it turned out that you were improperly classified and were really non-exempt and you decided to sue over it, they’d have to find a way to go back and reconstruct the actual hours you worked and pay you back pay for them, but other than that, no.

    2. Jamie*

      I don’t know what software you’re using, but all I’ve seen are able to be configured to accommodate what you’re talking about. Have you mentioned this to IT?

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I suspect they just figure there’s no need to fix it since it doesn’t matter. We use a payroll program that did something similar, and it just didn’t matter for the non-exempt people.

        (Or, more to the point: Unless she’s in a position where she has standing to ask IT to look into this, or unless she has a concern I’m not thinking of here, I wouldn’t drag IT into it, since the org may feel there’s no problem to solve.)

        1. Marina*

          Exactly. We have a pretty overworked IT department and there are many many things I’m sure they’d rather spend their time on. :)

          1. -X-*

            I’ll add that in my organization some of us who are exempt fill out time sheets by actual time worked and others fill them out based on portions of a 37.5-hour week. That is to say, if they worked 25 hours on project X and about 25 on project Y, they put down about 18.5 hours for each.

            This latter practice disturbed me, but our finance staff said that in charging work to grants they only need to know proportions, since our salaries are fixed.

  19. Ashleigh*

    I have a similar issue, except I am a 1099 employee and my boss is requiring me to fill out a timesheet and be at work at specific hours. This was not in our contract, rather something that he recently enacted across the board.

    1. J.B.*

      For once I think this situation is actually illegal–if you are required to be at an office for specific hours and tasks, you are not a contractor you are a W-2 employee.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Depends on more details. For instance, you could legally be a 1099 contractor but have to be on their premises for 2 hours every Tuesday for a meeting. On the other hand, required to be there 30 hours a week during certain hours? Not a 1099 contractor.

        1. Ashleigh*

          I’m required to be working and available from 9-5 as I am the customer service manager. I have some flexibility if I need to run an errand, but the majority of my time needs to be available to the company. That has always been how it’s worked. It’s the time sheets that are new.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            If I were you, I’d look at the federal regulations on who can and can’t be treated as a 1099 contractor. The arrangement is probably illegal, and they need to be paying payroll taxes for you.

        2. Lisa M*

          I have to say that this is the most succinct explanation of the difference between and IC and an employee I have ever seen.

  20. Lily in NYC*

    I have never worked anywhere that didn’t require salaried employees to fill out timesheets. Many companies get audited and are required to have this sort of data. I can’t figure out why the OP is so upset about this. It’s completely normal. Jeez Alison, how do you not pull your hair out every time you read “Is this legal?”

    1. Lexy*

      As an auditor (not a tax one! So if you meant IRS… I just don’t know) I don’t have to see timesheets of salaried employees. In fact when I’m making payroll selections I always get excited when everyone I select is salaried/exempt because then I don’t have to pull their time.

      WOOHOO! One less thing to document.

  21. TheRecruiter*

    I wish I knew your line of work. I’d recruit someone with your work ethics in a heartbeat!


  22. S.L. Albert*

    OP – if your problem is the time it’s taking or the annoyance of having to do it by hand, you might want to set up an excel spreadsheet or something similar. That would take a lot the repetitiveness away (dates can be filled automatically, if you always clock in a 8, just copy and paste it, click and drag your lunch hours down, etc.) and could make the overall record a lot tidier. You could print out a copy to give to your manager, and still keep a copy for yourself.

    Also, please talk to your manager about your hours, especially if you’re the only one working extra hours. You may be able to re-prioritize things or have the workload shifted some. Or, you may be able to leverage this into a pay raise later, especially if you can use your handy-dandy spreadsheet as a memory refresher so you can make a case for how much worth you’ve brought to the company.

  23. Liz T*

    I’m just trying to imagine sitting down and writing a law that says, “You are not allowed to ask your salaried employees how many hours they work.”

      1. Liz T*

        It’s illegal to ask me if it’s legal, but you could probably argue entrapment, so I’ll let this one slide.

  24. Hello Vino*

    At every position where I’ve been an exempt, salaried employee, I’ve had to fill out a timesheet. I’ve always thought of it as a standard practice. We use it to figure out how to bill clients and make sure we’re not going over our initial estimates for projects, etc. I’ve found it useful as a personal time management tool.

    I’ll admit that it’s not my favorite activity, but I make a habit of filling it out on a regular schedule, usually at the end of the day or first thing in the morning. My coworker tends to do it every few weeks, which ends up being a bit of a pain.

  25. Jubilance*

    I’ve always been exempt, and i’m in my 3rd job, but only the first where I didn’t have to track my time. My first job was with a defense contractor, so all of our time was billed to specific government contractors. In my second job, we tracked time to help our managers adequately plan for how many FTEs they’d need for specific projects & general lab duties like ordering supplies. Sometimes it was a pain, as I was in an environment where I worked on a variety of projects so there would be lots of tedium involved in tracking my time.

  26. MaryTerry*

    If your company does any US government contracting, they may be required to have this information.

  27. PuppyKat*

    It looks like I’m in the minority here—but I definitely prefer to be exempt. As a manager who works extremely variable hours, I want the freedom of deciding my own schedule each work day: when to arrive, when to leave, when (or if) to take coffee and meal breaks. I like being the one who decides that I’ll take five minutes to eat at my desk or 90 minutes to go out for something.

    That said, though, I’ve always worked for organizations that knew it was in their best interests to allow me maximum flexibility. My current employer knows that I’ll always schedule myself to be here when they need me and that I’ll work until the job gets done.

    1. Natalie*

      Being non-exempt doesn’t necessarily mean you have no flexibility – it depends on the nature of your position and your boss’s attitude. And as the OP shows, being exempt doesn’t mean you’ll actually get any sort of flexibility. I’m non-exempt but I don’t have to answer phones nor am I the primary admin support, so I have flexible work hours. In fact, I’d say it’s easier for me to leave early on Fridays because if I stay I’m incurring (unnecessary) OT.

    2. Kerr*

      I used to think that exempt = OT without pay, but somewhat flexible hours. After reading this site, I’ve discovered otherwise. And now, I’m baffled as to *why* anyone would want an exempt position! I mean, if your employer doesn’t offer flexibility, and your position is such that you don’t get OT pay (but are expected to work OT to finish projects), you don’t get flexibility in hours, you’re forced to use PTO/vacation time for unexpected office closures…the deal doesn’t sound too good. I’m honestly curious: what, if anything, is the draw? Or is it just something that everyone deals with in order to get those higher-level, professional positions?

  28. Meg*

    I’m a federal contractor , salaried, guessing non-exempt (I’ll explain in a minute). I keep a timecard for my contractor who uses it to bill the government agency I work for.

    I thought I was exempt because I don’t get paid overtime. In fact, I don’t think overtime has EVER been discussed except on-site when my boss and my supervisor were like, “Yeah, we’re really flexible, you’ll never have to put in overtime, ever.” The agency does have a rule where we are expected to work 8 hours a day (except in special circumstances), and they must overlap the core hours of 10am-3pm. Other than that, your schedule was flexible, whenever you felt like coming or leaving. I typically come in between 8 and 830, and leave between 4 and 430 (I like to beat the rush on the Metrorail – at 5pm, those trains are crowded!).

    This is perfect for me because if I feel like leaving right at 3pm, an hour or hour and a half earlier than I normally do, I know I have the opportunity to make it up in the same pay period (semi-monthly).

    Now I’m starting to think I’m non-exempt because when I started working, I started in the middle of a pay period, and received half a paycheck. In essence, I was docked pay because I wasn’t employed with them for that part of the period.

    On my paystub, it DOES list an hourly wage, but my pay, other than my first check, has never changed, whether I worked an 80-hour pay period, or 88-hour pay period.

    I remember during Hurricane Sandy when our offices were closed for two days, I was still required to either use PTO or make up 16 hours that pay period (or you let your project manager know if you needed to make it up in the following pay period). I was one who needed to make it up during the following pay period because I can only do an extra hour per day because of other obligations. So the pay period of Hurricane Sandy where I worked less than that pay period’s hours (number of work days in the pay period [1st-15th, 16th-end of the month] x 8 hours), my pay was NOT docked like a non-exempt employee, and the following pay period where I made up those hours, I did not receive OT.

    So I take back what I said about thinking I’m non-exempt… I think I might actually BE exempt… I have no idea now.

    1. doreen*

      “Now I’m starting to think I’m non-exempt because when I started working, I started in the middle of a pay period, and received half a paycheck.” The situations when an exempt employee can be docked pay include the first and last weeks of work. And I’m certain a work week is the relevant time, not a pay period – if you didn’t work at all in a particular week, you don’t have to be paid for that week, whether your pay period is one week , two weeks or a month.

  29. ew0054*

    I am salary/exempt and they recently made everyone start filling out timesheets. It’s a p.i.t.a. but part of the job.

  30. ew0054*

    Not sure why, but I am salary/exempt yet if I work 39 hours in a week they still pay me for 40 but they deduct the one hour from vacation/personal time. But I never got a penny more when I worked 60 hours in a week. Every company I worked at did this.

  31. ECH*

    Tradition at my workplace is for salaried employees to write “8-8-8-8-8” on their time cards even though they work ridiculous weird hours. I finally started writing how much I actually work (more around 60+). If nothing else, it makes me feel better that my boss at least sees it.

  32. Girl with a purple pen*

    Oh man, time sheets!

    I used to work for a government department and completely regardless of what any of us actually worked we had to fill out out time sheets with precisely the following:
    I’ll never forget those numbers. And who schedules a break for 9 minutes past the hour??? Sheesh.

    They were great to work for, so, whatever. :)

  33. Julie*

    I’ve worked for 20 years, and I only had to fill out a time sheet at the last place I worked. I found it insulting. If you are exempt, you should not have to fill out a timesheet, unless it is being used to bill clients.

  34. Lisa*

    My husband works for a large company In the safety area… He works at least 60 hours a week not uncommon for 80+. He is only allowed to fill out a time shyer for 40 hours and has to sign it … There are no bounces , stock options etc… His job description/ duties have multiplied 10 fold with no raise… The hours he has to work on his computer from home are getting longer as well…he is worried to say anything in this economy… However with no cost of living pay increases we are now living on credit cards and paying medical bills that have drastically increased

  35. Lisa*

    My husband works for a large company In the safety area… He works at least 60 hours a week not uncommon for 80+. He is only allowed to fill out a time shyer for 40 hours and has to sign it … There are no bounces , stock options etc… His job description/ duties have multiplied 10 fold with no raise… The hours he has to work on his computer from home are getting longer as well…he is worried to say anything in this economy… However with no cost of living pay increases we are now living on credit cards and paying medical bills that have drastically increased … Is it legal to expect those hours and added titles with no increase in pay … And force him to only claim 40 hours and sign off on it… We can not afford vacations they can’t spare home. But they still will not let him collect any vacation pay so we can pay our bills??? Help

  36. CJ*

    This is a question: I’m a salaried, non-exempt employee in Texas. The corporate offices were based in India but have recently moved here to Texas, incorporated in the US. I just started and am also required to not only keep a time sheet, but I also have to write detail by detail of all that I do in a day. (I don’t have time to “Pee!”) I’ve been working 6 to 7 days a week, anywhere from 10 to – believe it or not – 17 hrs out of 2 days last week. I’m exhausted and the work load keeps growing. To keep up with the work load, I’ll have to work weekends. I AM NOT paid overtime AT ALL, though I feel that I should be. I’m also never thanked for my hard work but insulted and it’s “insinuated” verbally that I do nothing. (I just now ate lunch at my desk…at 7:00 pm.) I’ve been working at my desk non-stop since early today and have not gone to the ladies room or taken a break at all. Tomorrow (Friday) I’ll have even more work. I know that the laws in India are far different, and I feel that their laws are being used to run an american company What can I do? I desperately need the income, though it’s not amazing, it’s not too bad…. (This is a multi-million dollar company too.) I also have no vacation time or bonuses…but glad to have an income. (I did have to beg and even insist on my first pay check…they did not want to pay me, but when I brought up the issue of my pay, I was told, “Well, we’ll see…I’m not sure…I’ll check w/the offices in India..” Lol..I”m 51 yrs old and have been a bookkeeper for most of my life, some college (accounting). That won’t fly here. I drove to the bank on payday, called the boss, and told him “I’m here to get paid! Do you want me to go to your house for you to sign a check or do you want to come to the bank?” Well, it worked. I would have gone straight to the TX Empl. Commission and US Dept of Labor…every agency that exists. Well, to sum it up, is this against the law in Texas? No OT pay for a non-exempt EE?

    1. Pink*

      CJ my first question is when you were hired did you receive an employee handbook, manual or document stating the terms of your employment including pay dates, holidays, leave etc… You should not have to fight for your salary. I pull together all the employees in the firm assuming they are treated in a similar fashion and see an attorney who specializes in labor law.

      1. CJ*

        Thanks Pink. That is a good idea. I did not receive anything (Handbook…nothing) except for a piece of paper on letterhead (My contract) stating my salary, health insurance to be covered by the company…etc. It was signed by me as well as the owner and director. I never rec’d insurance, paid for it myself, though have requested reimbursement repeatedly – in the form of an Exp. Report along with receipts. The contract ended last Friday. I’ve contacted the TX Employment Commission and am letting them handle my reimbursements, etc. Lesson learned!! (Never work for a company from India….) Oh, and the other EEs were also let go last Friday. They did not receive pay at all.

  37. Henry*

    I have a question: I was hired as a salaried exempt employee. My question is related to minim salary. My company is headquarter on the east coast while my office is on the west coast in California. I noticed California law states exempt employees must be paid 2x times minimum wage in CA. Mean while federal salaried exempt requirements are much lower. My current salary meets federal standards but not CA standards. CA min wage is scheduled to increase Jan 2014. Does my company have to meet CA min salary requirements? If they do have to meet it and haven’t for the past year what happens now? Thanks.

  38. Lisa C*

    I was just wondering why I never received a response from anyone On a post I did over a year ago … about a salaried worker who works 70 to 80 hours a week.. Filling out a time sheet is not the issue , The issue is My husband is only allowed to put down 40 hours no matter what.. How is that fair or legal? Thank you.

    1. Soli*

      You should call your state’s Labor Commissioner office or the Department of Labor (Wage and Hour Division). Hurry before the Statute of limitations expire. Normally, in California, you can only claim 3 years of back wages when you attempt to file a claim with the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (aka Labor Commissioner).

      I believe every state in the USA has a Labor Commissioner or regulator, except the Islands or Puerto Rico. If you live on an island, I suggest you call the Department of Labor (Wage and Hour Division).

  39. Lisa*

    As an exempt employee if I only work 10 hours for a week would I have to use my vacation time to make up for the hours I did not work for that week to receive my full weeks salary?

    1. MNBound*

      Depends on your company. I’m expected to put in 40 hours a week somewhere/somehow. If I was out sick, or had an appointment there are different codes that I have to put on my timesheet. Your boss might have “little tricks” they use also or ask you to code something a certain way. It’s best to ask, also that should be something HR should be able to tell you if you don’t want to ask your boss.

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