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Connecticut Exempt Employee Workweek

Posted by Tamara

Salaried exempt employees in Connecticut have questions about the standard workweek, overtime and salary.

First, there is no “standard” workweek for exempt employees. Connecticut laws do not address this issue, nor do federal laws. Each individual company can legally set its own standard workweek, which can be 40, 60 or even 80 hours per week. They can also legally terminate any exempt employee who does not comply with that standard.

Second, exempt employees are not entitled to overtime of any kind. The relevant law is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Third, again according to the FLSA, exempt employees are entitled to the same full time salary no matter how many hours they work in a week. There are exceptions to this rule: an accommodation for ADA, one or more days off due to illness, personal business or FMLA leave.

So what does this mean for exempt employees in Connecticut?

It means that the standard workweek is set by the employer. The company can demand all its exempt employees work 60 hours a week, and can terminate anyone who works less than 60 hours. It also means, the employer is legally allowed to let employees set their own schedules, to come and go as they please.

Confusion arises with exempt employees from two areas. First, they assume a standard 40-hour workweek, and then assume the hours they work beyond 40 are “banked” to be used as paid time off in the future. As explained above, both of these assumptions are incorrect.

Andrea is a good example of how FLSA works for exempt employees. Andrea is an outside salesperson, and accomplishes her work by traveling to clients. She normally works 45 hours a week. One week, she travels to visit clients the usual number of days, but only logs 30 hours. Another week, she logs 60 hours. Her employer must pay her the same (full time) salary for each of these weeks. Her company can also discipline or terminate her for not meeting the minimum performance standard the second week.


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