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Arkansas Exempt Employee Comp Time

Posted by Tamara

Some Arkansas employers grant comp time to their salaried exempt employees when they work more than 40 hours in a week.

This is an approach that is quite valid and can be considered good and generous management technique.

It is not, however, required by federal or Arkansas labor laws. Exempt employees are not automatically entitled to comp time when they work more than 40 hours in a payroll week. In fact, employers are legally allowed to require them to work more than 40 hours a week without either comp time or increase in compensation. Technically, the exempt employee who works 60, 80, or even 120 hours in a work-week is legally entitled only to his or her regular salary.

Assume for a moment that an employer requires a salaried exempt employee to work extra hours for no compensation. If the employee declines, management has the legal right to discipline or terminate that worker.

Employers must pay salaried exempt workers their full paycheck when they work fewer than 40 hours a week, however. There are times when a department or business simply is unable to generate 40 hours worth of work in a week for a certain employee. As long as that employee is ready and able to go to work, he or she must receive the regular pay.

If an employer reduces an exempt salaried employee’s pay in such weeks, then the employee automatically becomes “non-exempt” and entitled to overtime pay protection.

Non-exempt employees, according to the FLSA (or the Fair Labor Standards Act), must be paid overtime for working more than 40 hours in a week. Employers are forbidden from giving them compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay.

The question then becomes, what is a salaried exempt employee?

The FLSA names five classes of exempt employees based on types of work. Those five classes are Executives, Administrators, Computer Pros, Outside Salespeople, and Professionals.

To be exempt employees, workers must fall into one of those five classes and must also earn more than $455 a week, according to the FLSA. If they earn less they are automatically non-exempt.




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