Questions and Answers

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Q. I have an exempt employee who logs approximately 140 – 160 hours in a two-week pay period. The employee has not complained about the workload, but should I be concerned if there are any legal implications?

A. Exempt employees are paid the same flat amount each week regardless if they work one minute or 70 hours. However, there are other issues you need to consider if you have someone who is working that many hours. You should check in with their supervisor to determine why they are working so many hours. Perhaps the employee is on a special project, or a deadline for a large project moved up. Is the supervisor aware that the employee is logging in an excess amount of hours?  

 In any case, working this many hours raises questions on work/life balance, especially if the job has transitioned in the last year to work from home. Check-in with the employee and find out why they are working these long hours. It may be that the employee is struggling with some technology, workflow issues, cyberbullying, or perhaps it is time to consider hiring an additional person and make some adjustments to the position.   

A significant part of an HR professional’s role is to advocate for employees. Someone working excessive hours could be raising a flag for more significant underlying issues that need to be addressed.

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