What are Salaried Employee Rights?

Helen Akers

Most employees are classified as either hourly non-exempt or salaried exempt based upon the way in which they are paid. Salaried employee rights differ from hourly employees in terms of pay, paid leave, and breaks during the workday. There are some salaried employees who are classified as non-exempt due to a lower amount of weekly base pay. Unlike their exempt counterparts, salaried non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay.

An employer cannot discriminate based on physical disability, and must offer certain accommodations when necessary.
An employer cannot discriminate based on physical disability, and must offer certain accommodations when necessary.

Under salaried employee rights, the same amount of pay is received regardless of the number of hours worked. Whereas an hourly non-exempt employee would only get paid for the exact amount of hours put in for the pay period, a salaried employee could work less than 40 hours per week and still receive a full paycheck. The reverse is also true for exempt salaried workers. If they average more than 40 hours per week, they still receive the same amount of pay.

Terminating a person's employment because of age is generally not permitted due to discrimination laws.
Terminating a person's employment because of age is generally not permitted due to discrimination laws.

The rules for non-exempt salaried workers are somewhat different in terms of pay. Salaried non-exempt employees are those whose guaranteed base pay amount is less than standard. According to salaried employee rights, non-exempt salaried workers are eligible to earn overtime pay on any hours that exceed the standard maximum. For example, a non-exempt salaried worker in the United States who works 50 hours receives the guaranteed base salary plus overtime pay for ten hours.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers in the United States must classify their workers as exempt or non-exempt.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers in the United States must classify their workers as exempt or non-exempt.

Salaried employees are eligible for paid or unpaid leave in the event of extended family or personal illness, medical emergencies, or the birth or adoption of a child. Specific tenure and employer eligibility requirements apply for this type of medical leave. Accrued paid vacation and personal time are eligible for substitution for unpaid medical leave. Group health benefits are required to be maintained during the leave as if the employee were still working.

Salaried employee rights pertain to issues such as harassment protection.
Salaried employee rights pertain to issues such as harassment protection.

Breaks and lunch periods during the workday are also covered under salaried employee rights. While most hourly employees are provided with a structured schedule as to when breaks and lunches will be taken, salaried employees are generally responsible for scheduling their own breaks. Many local jurisdictions require that breaks be given to salaried workers.

Women salaried employees have the right to maternity leave if they become pregnant.
Women salaried employees have the right to maternity leave if they become pregnant.

Other salaried employee rights pertain to general issues such as work accommodations for disabilities, sexual harassment protection, discrimination, privacy rights, and workplace safety. Employers are required to provide education and access to information on any unsafe, potentially hazardous materials in the workplace. They should also have measures in place to prevent discrimination based upon gender, religion, race, physical disability and age. Salaried employees should also be informed about which work-related activities are monitored by the employer, such as e-mail communications and Internet use.

Salaried employees are eligible for paid or unpaid leave in the event of the adoption of a child.
Salaried employees are eligible for paid or unpaid leave in the event of the adoption of a child.
Salaried employees often are not entitled to overtime pay.
Salaried employees often are not entitled to overtime pay.
Employee rights include being able to take time away to care for an elderly relative.
Employee rights include being able to take time away to care for an elderly relative.

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