Can we step exempt employees back to hourly status if they do not work extra hours (50+) we ask of them? We have short-term demands that require the extra hours’ work and some of our exempt employees are not working the extra hours.

Making exempt employees non-exempt will cause more problems than it solves. It puts them in a position to get paid extra for the extra hours. Making some employees exempt while others doing the same work are non-exempt will expose the employer to charges of illegal discrimination. If the behavior is not corrected, the employer can be faced with a full team of workers going home after 35-40 hours.

It is legal to require the employees to meet the time requirements outside the normal workday. After-hours college students can be required to work extra hours on weekends or late night…etc. It is legal to consider the lack of extra hours as a performance issue and apply disciplinary action for poor performance. It is also legal to demote exempt employees to non-exempt positions and promote more willing workers to fill the position. It is important than the demoted and promoted workers are not all in any group covered by discrimination laws.


Hope that helps you out. =)



A note about HR laws:
Laws concerning employee treatment, benefits, hiring and firing…etc are multi-level. What this means is that there are Federal laws, state laws and sometimes local regulations that have jurisdiction over an employee. The information presented here should not be considered legal advice. Ultimately, employers with serious legal questions should consult local attorneys with expertise in worker relations.
The questions and answers presented here are based on research and data from internet sources and should not be considered the final word.

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