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  • Forcing Salary to work overtime

    Is it legal to have a schedule for a salary employee with 50 hours on it and then making the person stay late and work past the posted schedule? They WILL NOT let me leave the building. They force me to stay ! How can this be legal? All responses would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    Stretching the situation, that could be interpreted as forced imprisonment. Are you seriously telling us that if you refused, they would not let you leave? Indentured servitude went out of practice long ago.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      However, it is up to the employer how many hours you work. There is nothing illegal about requiring either an exempt or a non-exempt employee to work 50 hours or more per week. And yes, you can be fired for refusing and it will be entirely legal.
      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
        Exempt Employee forced to work overtime

        I am confused here, if an exempt employee accepts a job based on a 40 hour a week position can I employer just say you will!!! work 50 hrs?

        What if the employer says 60 hrs? Is that fair?

        Also, can it be done to selected exempt employees or must it be applied to all exempt employees?

        If so, then , is there a requirement that the exempt employee be in management with a minimum number of people under him in order for the employer to demand more hrs then hired for? I know there is or use to be a law in Rhode Island that said you must have a minimum of 5 people under you for this to occur?

        Thank You

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        • #5
          Exempt employees are required to work whatever hours the employer says and whatever hours are necessary to do their job successfully. If that's 40 or 60 or 80, so be it. Whether or not it is fair is subjective. Generally speaking, what it is not is illegal.

          Supervision of at least 2 employees (or more) is not required by federal law to be exempt. There are more classifications than just "executive".
          http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/complian...a_overview.htm

          Unless MA has more stringent requirements than federal law (I couldn't find the criteria for this on the MA web site), it's very possible for the position to qualify as exempt even if there are no supervisory responsibilities.

          Phil, cbg?
          Last edited by Pattymd; 04-10-2006, 03:48 AM.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            MA laws are more restrictive than federal for who can be classified as exempt. c.151, sec.1A sets out a list of those people who do not get overtime. As for overtime exemptions, all but 2 of the FLSA 13(b) exemptions were adopted. MA did not adopt 13(b)(4) for those employed in canning of fish, etc., and 13(b)(5) for those who are outside buyers of poultry, eggs, etc. But MA does look to the Feds for definitions of executive, administrative and professional status.

            There is no requirement regarding minimum number of employees that is relevant to your post under the wage act. And, yes, employers can generally require exempt employees to work the extra time, without paying them extra.

            rcronc: The general theory is that exempt employees are more sophisticated people who can generally negotiate additional pay for themselves and/or get other jobs.

            Phil
            Last edited by CompensationCounsel; 04-10-2006, 07:01 AM.
            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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            • #7
              Well, I guess I'll not apply for that job in MA canning fish or selling chickens.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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              • #8
                Those employee groups never had a very strong lobbyist in this state.

                Neither do golf caddys, newsboys, switchboard operators, child actors or amusement park workers - all of which are specifically named exemptions.

                In some states they say the fun never ends, around here it actually does.
                Last edited by CompensationCounsel; 04-11-2006, 04:47 AM.
                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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                • #9
                  I have a similar question. When I was hired to work for a hotel, I signed a job offer/agreement to work 45 hours a week salary (exempt as an administrator). One week later I was informed I needed to work 55 hours a week or be let go.

                  Does this signed agreement/job offer hold any weight here? I have no issues with working until the job is done, but I do not believe in putting in hours just to put in hours.

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                  • #10
                    Although I'm tempted to question your classification as exempt, I will assume that you've looked that issue through carefully with your attorney.

                    As to your question regarding contract law: unfortunately, the answer is that I can't tell from this post. If your contract guarantees you a certain rate for working 45 hours per week, and you're not an "employeee at will" or your emploment handbook has provisions protecting your hours (or any number of other possibilities, all of which are dependent upon your agreement and understanding), then the company's change might be a breach of contract.

                    You should show the papers to your attorney. MA does recognize and enforce the provisions employment contracts.
                    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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