Salaried employee rights & working on days off

Written by carl hose
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Salaried employee rights & working on days off
(Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A salaried employee gets a guaranteed salary regardless of hours worked. This can present a problem when working overtime. Because a salaried employee isn't typically paid overtime rates in addition to his salary, significant overtime work can cause a salaried employee to earn less per hour than employees paid by the hour. Knowing your rights as a salaried employee can help ensure you are paid fairly for the work you do.

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Guaranteed Salary

A salaried worker is guaranteed by law to receive the same amount of pay for her job, regardless of whether the pay period is by the week, every two weeks or monthly. The salaried employee is entitled to the same pay regardless of the total hours worked, even if the hours worked equals less than a typical 40-hour work week. The downside is that salaried employees don't get paid extra for working more than 40 hours in a work week, nor does the law require an employer to pay overtime to a salaried employee. If possible, get a contract that stipulates the maximum hours you are willing to work for your salary.

Days Off

Salaried employees are typically given two days off in the same way an hourly wage earner is. In some cases, salaried employees can take off more than two days. This depends on the job and if the salaried employee is completing his job. Salaried employees are judged by the work they do, not by the hours they put in. Government job rules regarding salaried employees allows an employer to make a salaried employee work on his day off if there is work to be done.

Breaks and Lunch

The rules for required breaks and lunch vary from state to state. An employer can make a salaried employee work an extra half hour to account for lunch time. This is typically left up to the employer according to state law. Government laws regarding salaried employees have no stipulation that require an employer to give a salaried employee lunch or breaks, although each state can set laws regarding this issue.

Paid Leave

Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), salaried employees who work a minimum of 1,250 hours in a 12-month period are entitled to paid leave. The salaried employee is entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family or medical emergencies.

Compensation Time or Pay

Some companies will pay employees comp time, either in extra pay or in days off, for time worked over 40 hours a week. This comp time can come in the form of additional days off or it can be a cash figure determined as a part of your initial employment contract. Comp time is not mandatory and is considered a bonus to the salaried employee.

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