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Employment Law/non paid meeting times

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Question
I work at a hospital and receive a base salary for 36 hours. Due to the nature of the position I also receive an hourly wage for any hours worked above the 36. I do not receive any OT for those hours. I do get Holiday pay at 1.5 if I work it.
I believe my employer calls this an exempt plus position. Additionally, I have a set time for vacation where the hourly employees accrue CTO time with every pay check.
The issue is this, I am expected to attend meetings outside of the 36 hours I must work in my regular position but I do not receive any additional pay. I am being told since I am a salaried employee this is not paid as extra time.
However, I work the offshift and the meetings are always centered around the dayshift. Due to the nature of the job, I cannot consider the meeting as time worked and not put in my regularly scheduled 36 hours.
The other managers in the building are paid for a 40 hour week and the meetings are held during their normal business day, subsequently they are paid for their meeting time.
Shouldn't I be paid for the meeting time if it is in addition to working my 36 hour salaried job?

Answer
Cathleen,

From the description of your situation, I believe the answer is tied to your classification as "exempt" from the overtime pay laws.  As you may realize, many salaried positions that include managerial and supervisory duties are classified as exempt from the overtime provisions under both federal (FLSA) and Michigan overtime wage laws. So long as the guaranteed "salary" exceeds $455/week and the job duties satisfy the applicable tests, exempt employees may be required to  work unlimited hours each day and do not have the legal right to refuse to work overtime, unless they are in one of a few regulated industries or covered by a union agreement which limits work hours. Whether exempt or non-exempt, in the vast majority of circumstances an employer has the ability to schedule and assign work hours as it deems necessary.  The good news for you is that you are apparently receiving "plus" compensation for the hours worked over 36 per week - this is not typical for most salaried exempt workers, who receive only their weekly salary regardless of the number of hours they are required to work during a week.

For more information, you may want to review the fact sheets provided by the Department of Labor regarding the exemptions that apply to executive, administrative and professional employees - http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/fairpay/fs17a_overview.htm and/or contact your state labor department [the Wage and Hour Division of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)] to determine if there are any exceptions that may apply to your specific situation.

While this may not be the answer you were hoping for, I do hope that this information assists you in your further research and reaching a conclusion.

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Michael Lore

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I will take questions regarding employment law, with a focus on wage and hour issues involving overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and applicable state laws (eg. California).

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I am an attorney with 15+ years experience in the area of labor and employment law, with a practice that concentrates heavily in the area of wage and hour litigation - involving unpaid overtime wages, commissions, work related expenses and vacation pay.

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