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Arkansas Exempt Employee Workweek

Posted by Tamara

Many Arkansas employee wonder if there is a standard workweek for exempt salaried employees in Arkansas. Are employees entitled to future paid time off when they work beyond the standard 40 hours in one week?

 The answer to both questions is no. Federal law doesn’t set a standard workweek for exempt employees, nor does Arkansas law. As for future time paid off, according to the federal FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), exempt employees are not entitled to overtime of any kind.

Though the usual “standard” workweek is 40 hours, it is not mandated by law for exempt employees. Each individual company has the legal right to set its own standard. A business can require its employees to work from 40 to 80 hours a week, or can allow exempt employees to establish their own schedules.

Does that mean that exempt employees can work as many hours or as few as needed to complete the job?

No. FLSA also allows employers to legally terminate any worker who does not meet their established standard.

Under FLSA, though, companies must pay exempt employees the same salary no matter how many hours they work. (There are exceptions, including workers on FMLA leave or an accommodation under ADA).

So, what can an exempt Arkansas employee expect from his or her employer?

First, the standard workweek will be determined by the company’s policy. Second, any hours worked beyond the standard are not eligible for extra pay or future paid time off. Third, the employer must pay the exempt worker his or her full time salary independent of the number of hours worked. Fourth, failing to meet the minimum hours expected can result in termination.

Consider Justin whose company’s standard workweek is 60 hours. Justin normally puts in 65 hours, but one week only logs 52 hours. The additional 5 hours do not qualify him for additional wages or time off. The shorter hours do not result in less money, either. He receives his fulltime salary each week. He can also be terminated for the shorter week for not meeting the employer’s minimum performance standards.


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