I work as a nurse for a major health insurance company. According to the US Department of Labor, I am “salary exempt.”
Salaried Exempt Employees
Employees classified as both salaried and exempt receive the minimum weekly wage for salaried workers, plus they are exempt from the FLSA regulations on overtime pay based on their job duties and responsibilities. Employees who work in an administrative, executive or professional capacity generally are exempt from overtime rules because the work involves duties related to the company’s management. Some outside sales personnel and employees in computer-related occupations are exempt as well. The criteria for exempt classifications vary; however, a common thread in the exempt status criteria is that employees must use independent judgment in performing the majority of their job duties. Exempt workers do not receive overtime pay, yet the company expects them to work as many hours as it takes to fulfill their job duties, even if they have to work more than 40 hours during the workweek.
It sucks. I was told I must work as long as it takes to get the job done and I can not work less than eight hours on any work day. If need be, I work 10 or 12 hours to get the day’s assigned work done but I can’t take any flex time or comp time and I sure as hell don’t get overtime.
Our work load and our responsibilities are increasing daily. Our ability to use ‘independent judgement’ is being restricted more and more. Many of my co-workers are working 50 or more hours each week to get it all done.
Let’s talk about
Rights of exempt employees.
An exempt employee has virtually “no rights at all” under the FLSA overtime rules. About all an exempt employee is entitled to under the FLSA is to receive the full amount of the base salary in any work period during which s/he performs any work (less any permissible deductions). Nothing in the FLSA prohibits an employer from requiring exempt employees to “punch a clock,” or work a particular schedule, or “make up” time lost due to absences. Nor does the FLSA limit the amount of work time anemployer may require or expect from any employee, on any
schedule. (“Mandatory overtime” is not restricted by the FLSA.)
Really? This sucks.