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Should I not work overtime hours if I'm a salaried Exempt employee?

Nurses   (1,694 Views 19 Comments)

Naturally Brilliant has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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I took an RN job with a state agency that has classified me as an Exempt employee, which (I think) means my salary is divided up into semi-monthly paychecks and I get paid that.  I work in Texas, if that helps.

I've always worked at private-sector employers, which meant that if I went over forty hour a week, I got paid time-and-a-half for those excess hours.  That always made logical sense to me.

At this new job, I always thought that if you were an Exempt employee you don't get overtime pay, just something called Comp Time (which I'm assuming is just like PTO) instead.  But the HR representative at my job said that state law made an exception for nurses, so we would get overtime pay unless we specifically asked HR for Comp Time instead. She also said that overtime was calculated over a two-week (80 hour) period, rather than 40 hours each week.

This is pretty relevant to me, since my new job entails me working 3 12-hour shifts one week and then 4 12-hour shifts that following week (a total of 84 hours bi-weekly).  So I'm working 4 hours overtime.  Does this mean I'm going to get time-and-a-half for those extra 4 hours?  Or is it a terrible idea to pick up extra shifts and is my pay going to be diluted if I work extra and get the same salary rate each check?

 

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I’m going to guess you get paid OT but not time and a half.  I’ve worked places as an exempt employee before and some didn’t pay OT and others did, but the OT was a fraction of what your hourly rate would be.

I would check and get it in writing.

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TriciaJ has 37 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

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If you are working full-time plus overtime, why are you not in a benefitted position?  It's one thing to sacrifice bennies if you want control over your schedule, but if you're scheduled for the hours you state, what's in it for you?

Unless there is some compelling reason that this works for you, I'd be rethinking the whole thing.

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Naturally Brilliant has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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I get state benefits, which are quite nice.  I'm just asking how overtime pay works if you're an Exempt employee.

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TriciaJ has 37 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

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10 hours ago, Naturally Brilliant said:

I get state benefits, which are quite nice.  I'm just asking how overtime pay works if you're an Exempt employee.

I don't think there's a standard legal definition for "exempt".  It means whatever your employer says it means.  You need to clarify with your employer whatever it is you're exempted from.

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TriciaJ has 37 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

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Just noticed the word "salaried".  "Salaried" means the overtime you work is for free.  You do the math.

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Naturally Brilliant has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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No, not necessarily.  There are many exceptions to both FLSA and the state laws.  For instance, my state of Texas banned mandatory overtime years ago.  My institution has an exemption for hospital settings operating on a 24-hour basis. 

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13 hours ago, Naturally Brilliant said:

I get state benefits, which are quite nice.  I'm just asking how overtime pay works if you're an Exempt employee.

If you are an exempt employee, you are exempted from the provisions of the FLSA.  what this means is, in most situations your employer is not required to pay you for any time worked in excess of your contracted hours.  Your questions are best directed to your employer.

Best wishes.

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Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

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Technically, they don't even have to give up comp pay.  That is a gift.

If you are salary, they can technically, require you to work as many hours as they want...that is why when you accept a job on salary, you have it spelled out how much you will be working and what hours.  

You don't get docked if you leave a few minutes early, but you don't get paid extra if you stay over.

However...employers don't get it both ways.  They can't ask you to stay over a couple of hours one day and if you leave early the next, dock your pay.  If they start treating you like an HOURLY employee, then they are required to pay you as such.

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On 6/22/2019 at 12:15 AM, Naturally Brilliant said:

I get state benefits, which are quite nice.  I'm just asking how overtime pay works if you're an Exempt employee.

I worked for years in the State of Texas.  Your "overtime" hours are considered comp time which is golden. It just adds up to time you may take off at your convenience. 

However, I would definitely recommend speaking to HR about your particular situation.  

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RNNPICU has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PICU.

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For me, I work 40 hours a week, I am salaried.  If I work more than 40, I can adjust my time but it is a balance, they are not required to have me adjust.  I remember someone saying, we are exempt of the 40 hours, meaning, if I work 41, 45, or 50 hours a week, I still get paid the same.

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics.

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I haven't a clue on how Texas law works on this but I do know that as a rule being a salaried employee means you get paid the same no matter how many hours you actually work. If that's the case in Texas then it doesn't matter if you work 84 hours or 96 hours you are still getting the same pay. If that's how it works there unless you like working for free why would you consider picking up anything extra?  

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