My Current State: 

Maryland Exempt Employee Workweek

Posted by Tamara

In Maryland and other states there is no standard 40-hour workweek for exempt employees.

The typical “salaried exempt” employee has no such guarantee as a standard week. Neither federal nor state law requires it.

The term “salaried exempt” refers to workers who receive a flat weekly paycheck and are “exempt” from or not under the protection of overtime laws.

No matter how many hours exempt employees work in a week they are not entitled to overtime, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA. There is a provision, however, that if salaried exempt employees work less than their normal number of hours in a given week (with their employers’ permission), they must still receive their full salary.

As an example, hypothetical worker “Todd” normally works 40 hours a week. Todd worked the usual number of days last week, but put in a total of 25 hours, not 40. Under the law he must still get his full weekly pay.

This regulation often leads to the assumption that exempt employees may come and go as they please during the week, working as many or as few hours as they wish, provided they got the job done. The assumption is erroneous. If Todd’s company has a policy that sets 40 hours a week as the absolute minimum for salaried exempt employees (unless management makes an exception) and Todd works only 25 hours, he would be entitled to his full salary, but his employer could fire him for not meeting the minimum number of hours.

An employer could legally set company policy requiring its exempt employees to put in 50, 60, or even 70 or 80 hours per week, and could terminate an employee for not meeting the “minimum.” The employer may, on the other hand, choose to allow exempt employees to set their own hours and to come and go at their discretion. That is a management choice and not a requirement.

Salaried exempt employees would be taking a chance if they assumed that the standard workweek is 40 hours and that they could “bank” surplus hours for the future.



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