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Thoreau (T-USA)
Thoreau (T-USA), Attorney
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I am salary paid. My understanding of this as always been that

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I am salary paid. My understanding of this as always been that you must work your 40 hours per week in order to get that salary (I have been docked when my hours didn't come to 40) and that if you work over 40 hours in a week, that you still get that same salary. It does not change. Is this correct and if so, are there exceptions? My position is manager of a screen printing department at a sporting goods store. I am in charge of two employees. Besides overseeing their jobs my duties include, scheduling print jobs, ordering supplies and names and numbers needed for different print jobs. I also "burn" screens, clean screens, and screen print. I took over this position in September. Even though I had been "the" screen printer for the previous five years, that is all I did. The manager took care everything else so I could concentrate on printing. I had a little knowledge of the other duties, but had not actually done any of them. So, I have tried to do those same things, burning and cleaning screens so that the one employee can do the artwork (and print when needed) and the other can print. When I took over as manager, it became my goal to make sure that orders were completed on time. To make that happen, I made sure that I had a key to the building so that when needed, we could put in the overtime needed to make sure orders were done on time. Up until now, it has not been a problem. I have put in a few hours "overtime" here and there, maybe on the average of five to six every two weeks (we get paid bi-weekly). But recently my screen printer was sick for three days in a row and then decided to quit on the four day. This left me high and dry. I had to depend on my graphic artist to help me screen print. And as this a very busy time of the year, we have had to put in a lot of overtime in order to get orders completed. This past pay period I asked my employer because of the circumstances if it would be possible to get compensated for all of the overtime I was having to put in. He said sure, he would look and it. He didn't see it as a problem. I put in 23 hours over my 80 hours. I did not get anything over my normal bi-weekly rate. I get $850 bi-weekly. And I wonder if that is legal cause I have read several places that salaried shouldn't get less that $455 a week. I also read that there are non-exempt salaried people, which I understand would get overtime and exempt salaried which would not get overtime. I do not understand which is which and which would apply to me. I would in all honesty say that I do more screen printing than I do manager-type duties. I am employed in Nebraska and the company that I work for employs nine people. I just got paid friday and as my employer is not in on a daily basis, I have not confronted him about not getting the overtime I was expecting. Thanks, Melany
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Thoreau (T-USA) replied 3 years ago.
Good evening!

You didn't really specify your questions. Therefore, if I miss anything, please let me know.

Your understanding of salary positions is correct in that a salary employee should receive the same pay, regardless of hours worked.
Exceptions can apply when an employee misses an entire day for personal reasons, in which case the employee's pay may often be reduced by that day.

You are also correct that a salary employee must make at least $455 minimum per week.
See: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/overtime/cr2.htm#5

If the employer has improperly classified you, you may be eligible to collect the unpaid overtime. An individual who has not been paid the wages he/she is owed may be able to obtain assistance from the Nebraska Dept. of Labor.
See: http://dol.nebraska.gov/nwd/
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I don't know how I am classified. I how do I know what my classification is? Should my employer know the difference?
Expert:  Thoreau (T-USA) replied 3 years ago.
Allow me to rephrase that sentence for clarity.
"If the employer has improperly classified you, you may be eligible to collect the unpaid overtime."

You could read that as:
"If your employer has treated you as exempt salary when you should be treated as an hourly, employee, you may be able to collect the unpaid overtime."
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am sorry. I guess I am still confused. Since I have been strickly paid the same amount each paid period reguardless of hours worked, then I am exempt? My position doesn't say whether I am exempt or not? And if I am exempt can that ever change to non-exempt? And if you are non-exempt and you can get paid overtime, why would you be paid a salary in the first place?
Expert:  Thoreau (T-USA) replied 3 years ago.
Certain types of positions are specifically exempt. Below is an article that outlines exempt types of jobs.
If an employer varies an employee's pay based on hours worked, this can cause an exempt employee to essentially become nonexempt, making the employee eligible for overtime, minimum wage, etc.
http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/screen75.asp
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I'm am still somewhat confused. I did read the article. Sort of helped. Even though I don't have a "black and white" answer, you have helped me some what. I guess I will have to call my state department of labor and physically talk to someone.
Expert:  Thoreau (T-USA) replied 3 years ago.
Many managers are exempt salary employees.
That said, even if an employee begins as exempt, if the employer varies the employee's pay based on hours worked, the employee may cease to be exempt.
Then the employee could be eligible for overtime.
I hope this clarifies. However, yes, you will want to discuss it with the Department. As mentioned, if it's determined that you are now entitled to overtime, the Dept. may be able to help you collect it.
Thoreau (T-USA), Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 9176
Experience: Attorney
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Thoreau (T-USA)
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