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Labor laws exist to provide quality protections to salary and hourly workers, no matter where they work in the United States of America. Although these laws defend everyone, they impact salaried workers differently.
Hourly workers typically enjoy protections based on federal minimum hourly wage standards, ensuring their income does not dip below a specified amount. Although the defenses for salaried employees are similar, there are different twists on their protection. Of course, it’s easy to get confused if you’ve never looked into your rights.
If you want to learn more about the federal laws and rights established for salaried workers, read on. We have plenty of information to help you feel confident in your paid position.
Federal Laws and Rights For Salaried Workers
Many laws and rights are in place to ensure salaried workers receive what they deserve and are safe in their position. However, a few of them stand out as the most prominent for salaried workers to understand.
There are several things to keep in mind as a salaried worker. Consider the following:
- Your pay is determined ahead of time
- Salaried employees aren’t always exempt
- You have a right to a safe workplace
- There is a small business exemption
- There is a required minimum wage
- You only get certain deductions
These help ensure you are safe in your professional position.
Let’s talk more about the federal laws and rights of salaried workers. The more you know about these, the more confident you will feel in your high-class spot as a salaried worker in your place of business.
Pay Determined Ahead of Time
Typically, salaried employees reserve the right to know their annual pay. It determines whether the employer will pay the employee biweekly, semimonthly, or monthly before they start the job.
This pay does not fluctuate throughout the year except under specific circumstances. We will talk about situations where a salaried employee’s pay may be deducted in a little bit to help you gather an understanding of the limits of your paid rights as an employee.
Salaried Employees Aren’t Always Exempt
Many people put salaried employees and exempt employees in the same pile. However, this classification isn’t always correct. For example, an exempt worker excused from required overtime will not have to work beyond a time limit set by the federal government. A salaried employee is the only one exempt from overtime regulations.
This exemption only occurs if salary employees meet specific criteria ahead of time. Some salaried employees may be paid for their overtime work if they meet specific requirements.
Right To A Safe Workplace
Salaried workers hold the right to a safe workplace, just like their hourly counterparts. You may work in a place free from harassment or discrimination. You don’t have to put up with anything your employer does that crosses the line and makes you feel uncomfortable in your work environment.
At any point during your career, it’s possible to exercise your right to report any issues in your place of work. If you do, your employer is not allowed to harass you or retaliate against the report in any way.
Small Business Exemption
If you are a salaried worker at a small business, you might face challenges that massive facilities won’t. The Fair Labor Standards Act has some exceptions for smaller companies and may not have to implement certain protections.
A company typically qualifies as a small business if they complete business in a single state and its goods and services don’t cross the line into other states. They also should have less than $500,000 in annual sales.
Talk to an employment attorney if you work as a salaried employee for a small business. They will help you determine any additional protections you have, keeping you protected as a small business salaried employee.
Required Minimum Wage
Salaried workers reserve the right to earn minimum wage for their work. No matter the hours they work, employers must give their salaried workers the amount they agree to on their contract at the beginning of the year. This benefits employers and ensures employees receive pay and overtime work is accounted for in their work week.
If the position is not exempt from overtime, the salaried employee still gains minimum wage for the same number of hours. If a salaried worker operates 20 hours a week, they are legally owed at least minimum wage for that number of hours.
The required minimum wage keeps everyone safe. It helps the business remain in check and helps keep salaried workers gain their fair compensation.
Only Certain Deductions
There are only some cases where the pay of a salaried worker is allowed to be reduced. Generally, it doesn’t happen - the amount agreed to at the beginning of the year is the only time pay is talked about until next year.
A salaried employee’s pay can be reduced if they have the following on their record:
- Unpaid sick days
- Unpaid vacation days
- Personal days
- Disciplinary suspensions
- Safety violations
You may see a dock in pay for these reasons.
A worker paid by salary cannot receive a dock in their pay based on the quantity of the work produced or the quality. Any deduction to compensation based on these measures is illegal and protected by federal laws and rights.
Benefits of Being A Salaried Employee
If you want to be a salaried employee, there are many benefits. It’s an ideal spot in a business.
There are many benefits to being a salaried employee, including:
- __Set pay: __No matter how many hours you work a week, you will receive a set pay for your work. Nothing is based on hours, it’s based on the year as an employee.
- __Flexible hours: __As a salaried employee, you get more flexible hours in your workday. Some companies even allow salary workers to set their schedules.
- Perks and benefits: Workers on a salary get more benefits than hourly employees. They typically receive medical, dental, 401k matching, and more.
- __Budget excellence: __If you have a salary, it’s simple to budget. You already know what you’re making in a year and what will be taken out for taxes.
- __Prestigious work: __Often, workers on a salary are offered more advanced career positions in higher places.
- __Growth opportunities: __Salary spots offer the chance to move up the rung and grow.
- __High income: __Most salaried employees make more than those on an hourly pay rate.
These push people towards taking on a salaried position, as opposed to one paid by the hour.
Consider these advantages if you’re interested in a salary position. However, there are less-than-ideal items to keep in mind, too.
Disadvantages of Being A Salaried Employee
There are also bad things about being a salaried worker. These are just as vital to consider.
There are several disadvantages to being a salaried employee, including:
- __Lower hourly rate: __The more you work, the less you make. Those who jump over 40 hours might end up making less than minimum wage if they are not careful.
- __Employer enjoyment of low salary requirements: __Some employees love to place qualified workers in low-salary positions for their benefit, not the employee.
- __No overtime opportunities: __Most salaried workers do not get the opportunity to work overtime, so there’s no opportunity to make more money.
- __Even more stress: __If you work too much on a salary, it leads to more stress. It can be easy to overdo it when you aren’t on an hourly schedule.
- __Rates based on equity: __Sometimes, your rate is based on what those around you earn instead of the job.
- Pressure to work more: On a salary, there’s pressure to do more than on an hourly rate.
This might be a reason to stay away from this form of payment.
Keep these in mind if you have a choice. There are also some downsides to salaried employment.
What Are The Maximum Hours A Salaried Employee Can Work?
Unlike many hourly employees, there is no minimum or maximum to the hours a salaried employee can work. They can work as many or as few as they want, so long as what they do goes in line with their contract with the business.
However, it’s critical to note that any work in a typical week over 40 hours will not show overtime hours on their paycheck. If they don’t hit 40 hours a week, an employer cannot lower their yearly pay because of the reduction. However, they are allowed to fire them if it continues.
Federal laws and rights concerning workers were put in place to ensure they get proper compensation and protection for their work. As a salaried employee, your defenses vary slightly from an hourly worker, but not too much. Your hours are much more flexible and do not impact your pay at the end of the year.
We hope this information was helpful! As a salaried employee, know the federal laws and rights for salary workers before you set foot in your office building. You deserve a workplace that is safe and free from harassment, and you also deserve to know where exemptions are placed on your rights to ensure you keep just treatment in the office.
Reference Legal Explanations
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"What are the Federal Laws and Rights for Salary Workers?". Legal Explanations. Accessed on December 9, 2023. https://legal-explanations.com/blog/what-are-the-federal-laws-and-rights-for-salary-workers/.
"What are the Federal Laws and Rights for Salary Workers?". Legal Explanations, https://legal-explanations.com/blog/what-are-the-federal-laws-and-rights-for-salary-workers/. Accessed 9 December, 2023
What are the Federal Laws and Rights for Salary Workers?. Legal Explanations. Retrieved from https://legal-explanations.com/blog/what-are-the-federal-laws-and-rights-for-salary-workers/.