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Idaho Exempt Employee Workweek

Posted by Tamara

A salaried employee in Idaho recently worked 60 hours in one week. Her boss says she is not entitled to extra pay or extra paid time off. Is this legal?

It is legal–for exempt salaried employees. The federal FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) states that exempt salaried employees are not entitled to overtime of any kind. These employees are, however, entitled to the full time salary no matter how many hours they work. Exceptions exist for employees on FMLA leave, gone one or more full days due to illness or for personal reasons, and as an accommodation under ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

It is also legal for the employer to demand an employee to work more than 40 hours per week. Though the 40-hour workweek is customary, there is no Idaho or federal law that mandates a “standard” workweek for exempt employees.

The number of hours in a standard workweek is completely up to the individual company. This means a business can require exempt workers to put 40, 60, or as much as 80 hours per week. Or, the company can allow the exempt employees to set their own schedules and come and go as they will.

Exempt employees often assume this means they can work 20 or 40 or 60 hours a week as they please, as long as the job gets done. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. The employer has the right to terminate any exempt employee who doesn’t meet the minimum hours expected.

To illustrate how the conditions of FLSA apply, consider Mark, whose normal work week is 50 hours long. One week, he is at work the same number of days, but only puts in 25 hours. By law, the company must pay him the same salary for the short week as for the standard week. The company, however, can also terminate Mark for not meeting the minimum expectations.


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