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  • Salaried, Hourly, Exempt, non-exempt Massachusetts

    I am a vocational teacher in Massachusetts with an engineering degree. I am salaried exempt. Others are non-exempt and hourly. We all do the same thing. Is this legal? Can our employer (for-profit vocational school) require us to come in on our day off, in excess of 40 hours, for a meeting? They are offering nothing to me, but an $8/hour stipend to the rest.

  • #2
    Read the post again, Joe.

    He is an exempt employee. He is not getting paid a cent to attend mandatory training.

    I answered the OP's question in another thread, but will restate here, the OP, as an exempt employee can be required to attend the meeting and be paid nothing extra for it. The non-exempt employees may also be required to attend, but must be paid. The $8/hr rate of pay is legal, since is is above minimum wage. For those who end up working more than 40 hours a week, overtime will be a factor. That should mean calculating the OT as a blended rate of the regular rate of pay and the $8/hr training wage.
    Last edited by ScottB; 03-17-2007, 07:38 PM.
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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    • #3
      Isn't it illegal to force O.T.?

      If I am already working 40+ hours as an exempt employee, why is it okay for my employer to force mandatory meetings on our days off, in excess of 40 hours?
      What are the consequences if I don't show up? As it is, I work 14 hours two days per week.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by hockey View Post
        If I am already working 40+ hours as an exempt employee, why is it okay for my employer to force mandatory meetings on our days off, in excess of 40 hours?
        Yes, the employer can have you work any time. There are only two states that cap mandatory overtime. California allows only 32 hours a week of overtime and that does not affect all occupations and may not affect exempt employees at all. Maine limits overtime to 80 hours in any two consecutive calendar weeks (and it does affect some exempt employees). That means, in Maine, that you could work 120 hours this week, so long as you did not work more than 40 last week or next week.

        Originally posted by hockey View Post
        What are the consequences if I don't show up?
        If you are an "at-will" employee, they can fire you for not showing up.
        Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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        • #5
          Slavery

          Sounds like a 40 hour work week is fiction. Mandatory meetings on weekends are legal? I will be the only employee not getting compensation. Isn't this somewhat hostile? I feel I am being punished specifically.
          Thanks for your replies Scott. It is Sunday. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by hockey View Post
            Sounds like a 40 hour work week is fiction.
            It is for some exempt employees. There are businesses that hire exempts who receive a weekly salary but expect them to put in 55 or 60 hours a week.

            I take it that 40 is the norm for you and this is a one-time aberration.

            Originally posted by hockey View Post
            Mandatory meetings on weekends are legal?
            Quite legal. I think I posted that twice already.

            Originally posted by hockey View Post
            I will be the only employee not getting compensation. Isn't this somewhat hostile?
            You are paid salary for a week, no matter how many hours and days you work. It would be legal for the employer to work you 24 hours a day, seven days a week in your state. Stupid, but legal. You would be quite unproductive after a couple days and on day three or four might start hallucinating from sleep deprivation, but that does not make it illegal for the employer to do that.

            On the other hand, as a salaried, exempt employee, if you don't work 40 hours, you will still get your full salary with some specific exceptions. Hourly non-exempts don't.

            Originally posted by hockey View Post
            I feel I am being punished specifically.
            You are in a different class than the others and are not being singled out or treated any differently than exempt employees elsewhere.
            Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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            • #7
              One point of clarification, Massachusetts has both Blue Laws and Day of Rest laws.

              The Blue Laws prohibit businesses from being open on Sunday, with some exceptions - 55 of them are listed in MA Gen. Law, chapter 136, section 6 (here's a link: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/136-6.htm). You'd need to take a look at the exceptions and see if your company fits in.

              There are a variety of exceptions, but, even when these apply, MGL c. 149, s. 48 states that employees must have 1 day of rest every 7 days of work. c.149, s.51 adds that the employer must post lists of every employee designating the day of rest for each, and that no person shall be required or allowed to work on his day of rest. c.149, s.51A states that the AG may grant a 60 day exemption for an employer, although very few companies actually apply to the AG for this exemption.

              Bottom line, it is unlikely that you can be required to work 7 days a week.
              Last edited by CompensationCounsel; 03-18-2007, 06:09 PM.
              This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

              This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

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              • #8
                Let me further clarify.

                So long as said meeting does not occur on YOUR APPOINTED DAY OF REST, no violaiton exists.

                They are free to classify one employee exempt and another as non-exempt, so long as the employee that is exempt is qualified to be such under federal law, and there reasoning for classifying employees reason is not based upon a protected characteristic (race, gender, creed, national origin, etc.).

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