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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Is there a maximum to the number of hours that a salaried

Customer Question

Is there a maximum to the number of hours that a salaried employee should be expected to work? I have been working in my new role since Sept 1 in excess of 100+ hours per week, often working 36 hours straight without rest, taking a break to sleep, and then working another 16 - 30hours straight. At what point am I protected from unfair wages and excessive work. I have documented my complaints numerously to my employer and they keep saying they will get me help but there is no end in sight. Twice this week I have worked in excess of 30+ hours nonstop. If I was to compare my salary to what I used to make hourly, I now make 1/3 of my old salary because I work so many hours. I am exhausted and it has impacted my health. I am currently now taking medication to help with anxiety and stress.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

I am sorry to hear about your excessive work hours. What kind of work do you do? Also, in what state are you located? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am in North Carolina and a Sr. Financial Analyst
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. As a financial analyst what exactly do you do? I ask because it is potentially relevant to whether you are entitled to additional compensation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I provide financial analysis support for 6 global manufacturing sites in the pharmaceutical industry for which I am required to process month end close for our books by end of business day 1 in order to provide the client with accruals to report under the contract my employer has with the client. Once I complete month end close and related activities, I then compile data regarding their transactional versus budget activities and then work with the sites to present financial data. I review and report the data and attend meeting with the client in a setting in which operational and financial data is presented to evaluate performance and budget. I also am tasked with reviewing the transactions ,preparing invoices, A/R, and now collections. The data is in the millions for these sites and the job was changed when I came into it as they felt that they wanted an analyst who could do everything for the site at a corporate level, from invoicing to analysis to being the one who interacts with the client on a personal level. The prior person doing this role did not interact with the client (ever), did not attend meetings, did not do billing, A/R or collections. She did have other duties, but the role was much more limited.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

So, in general, an employee is entitled to overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 per week unless their job duties qualify them for an exemption from overtime. This is true even for salaried employees. In the case no exemption applies, the salary is just presumed to compensate them for 40 hours and everything worked beyond that must be paid in addition.

If you are properly classified as an exempt employee, there is no limit to the number of hours your employer can force you to work for the same flat rate salary. Indeed, this is the very purpose of salaried exempt positions--the employee is paid a flat rate to "get the job done," whatever that job may be as determined by the employer.

Based on what you have described, it seems that the administrative exemption may apply to your employment. Here is a summary of the requirements for the administrative exemption. If you believe that this exemption does not apply to you, there is a chance that you are improperly classified as exempt and thus entitled to additional compensation. But it is important to also note that even if you are not exempt, your employer still retains discretion over your schedule and can require you to work any number of hours. It's just that the hours over 40 must be compensated beyond your salary.

If you believe you are owed unpaid overtime, your remedy is to file a wage claim with the NC Department of Labor, which you can do here.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

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