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Exempt employee and working hours, California

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  • Exempt employee and working hours, California

    I am an at will, exempt employee and according to the company policy, "I am suppose to work the standard hours, or traditional work weeks." The policy also states that "Exempt employees are paid for the job done rather exact hours worked."

    I know that if we are busy, I work and have worked extra hour with no extra pay. However, if we are not busy, I would like to LEAVE EARLY; to somehow, make up for the days that I worked late.

    A few years ago, it was stated by a manager that "it was OK to come at different hours; but try to put 8 hours of work; although, not everyone is following that rule at all.

    Some employees show up 9-5 with and take an hour lunch; other employees show up 8-5 and take an hour lunch, give and take 15 to 20 minutes later. Still others show up and leave at different hours every day working less than 8 hours; however, they may have Flexible Work hours.

    Question 1)
    What are the standard hours in CA for exempt professionals when not specified in the policy?
    9-5 with an hour lunch, or 8-5 with an hour lunch?

    Question 2)
    Since I am exempt employee, can the company track my hours and use it against me, penalize me, affect my performance if they can show that in such and such dates I worked less than 8 hours?

    Thanks

  • #2
    1. There are no "standard" hours for exempt employees. An employer can define its standard business hours.

    2. The employer can take disciplinary action against employees who work less than what it defines as its standard hours.

    What you are asking for is comp time. There's no law that requires an employer to provide comp time to an exempt employee.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

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    • #3
      For some reason a number of exempt employees assume that a perk of being exempt is being allowed to come and go as they please and that the employer has no say in what hours they work. Not so. The only thing an exempt employee is exempt from is overtime rules. They are still subject to all employer rules regarding hours of work and they can be disciplined up to and including termination if they do not follow them.

      Standard hours, for all employees in all states, are what the employer says they are. No state has a standard for either exempt or non-exempt employees.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by lgs View Post
        I know that if we are busy, I work and have worked extra hour with no extra pay. However, if we are not busy, I would like to LEAVE EARLY; to somehow, make up for the days that I worked late.
        Sorry, it would be nice but it doesn't work that way. You work whatever hrs. your employer tells you to.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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