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Mississippi Exempt Employee Workweek

Posted by Tamara

The usual image of the Mississippi exempt employee is someone who can come and go as he or she pleases as long as the work gets done. The exempt employee, according to common wisdom, may also take work only 20 hours in Week B if he or she worked 60 hours in Week A.

The notions are not true. They are both based on the misconception that, even for exempt salaried employees, the 40-hour week is “the standard.”

Because of this notion of the standard workweek, exempt employees often believe that if they work more than 40 hours in a given week they are putting aside the extra hours in a kind of “time bank,” and can “withdraw” them in a future week.

In reality, management may set any number of hours as the standard for exempt salaried employees. That could be 50, 60, or even 80 hours a week.

Exempt employees are not legally or necessarily entitled shave off hours in a later week. In theory, if a manager has set 80 hours as the norm, and the employee has been working 80 hours a week for 10 years, he or she could be disciplined or even fired for working 70 hours. He or she would not be meeting the employer’s minimum standards even if the job were completed in those 70 hours.

Employers may, if they choose to, permit exempt employees to set their own schedules and to come and go as they please, provided the work is completed. But it is not required.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that exempt salaried employees are not necessarily entitled to overtime pay, no matter how many hours they may work in any given week. There is a benefit, however. An exempt employee must be paid for a full work week even if he or she only works a portion of the week. Labor laws specify exceptions. They include missing one or more full days of work in a week because of illness, personal business, FMLA leave, or as part of an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.





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