I just took this job and there are issues around my hours while being salary.

My boss told me in the interview that I would be hourly, and the schedule is not flexible. But upon hiring, the company made me Salary. In my offer letter they said that "..normal working hours are 8 to 5 Monday through Friday. However we reserve the right to change your hours as needed."

To me this does not say that I must be here at 8am sharp every day, and leave at 5pm, or that I need to request if I can do overtime hours or that I need to request if I want to start or continue my work at home or not.

But that aside, I had the feeling he was monitoring my hours, and sure enough he was.

On my second week on the job, I got in a bit of traffic and sent a text I would be a few minutes late. I was not late since, and came in 5 minutes early from then on. More than 2 weeks later, I had a meeting with him about some other issue. After sort of clearing that up, I tried to end the conversation with "Are we good now?"

He said "Yes." But then he says "Oh by the way, don't ever blame the traffic again."

After I asked him to repeat because I was confused. Then I realized he was talking about the day I came in a few minutes late more than 2 weeks before. He accused me of just oversleeping, and told me to come in 10 minutes early from now on.

So everyday I come in at 7:50am. Sometimes I pushed it to 7:57am to see if he says anything and he hasn't yet.

This is all sort of a buzzkill for me. I like to be passionate about my work, but this issue about my work hours as a salaried employee, being monitored like this, is really starting to eat away at me.

Is this even legal? I have been logging my hours now. I don't know what to do besides look for another job. I barely started here.

  • Every salaried job I have ever held ah had minimum time in the office requirements. The entire legal purpose for salaried vice nonsalaried is to allow them to make you work unpaid overtime.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 18:29
  • @HLGEM the question isn't about minimum time, because I exceed that. My question is about this rigidness about what time I start when there are no responsibilities tied to it aside from the time itself. I have always stayed late in past jobs by shifting my schedule. I believe in putting in at least 40 hrs a week if not more. I also put in hours remotely if it is possible but I never made a big deal about it because time was never an issue on salaried work for me, only accomplishments. Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 18:41
  • There is nothing at all odd about having fixed hours either. Only you can determine if it is not acceptable to work under those conditions. The company is not going to change for you, so you have to decide if you will meet the conditions because there is something more important that you will get out of this experience or move on.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 20:49
  • thanks @HLGEM. I'm trying to get the most out of it whilst polishing up my resume and preparing to jump. Given the general reaction I am reading here I see that in general most developers would not put up with being treated this way. I think I should not either. My coworker warned me yesterday to be prepared for a bad performance review because he did that to him for minor subjective things. He told me how after the review people in the main office were surprised he stayed and put up with it and that several people came before him and left because of that. Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 21:42

4 Answers 4


I think your question of whether monitoring you is legal or not is misplaced. Legality aside, your manager is treating you poorly. Even if the job has strict office hour requirements (which seems to be the case for you), the manager shouldn't treat you like a dog by accusing you of lying (especially after a single incident). If you already spent time working at home, you probably put in more than enough time to account for being late the one time.

Assuming you haven't left out any details, this seems like a company to leave sooner rather than later - clean up your resume, start looking and get out as soon as you can.

  • 1
    The original post was much longer with more detail. So I had to cut it down. I think I posted the meat of the matter. But in general what I left out was my new boss' attitude and an incident where he cut my paycheck a day due to Presidents day, and me asserting I worked Saturday and Sunday anyway so no reason to do that. I feel like I made a mistake but the alternative jobs = long commutes for me. I think you are right about cleaning the resume and leaving sooner than later. What a waste Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 19:27

Answer is quite simple here, really.

Just leave this company right away and never look back.

If you stay, you’re doing a massive disservice to yourself and to the whole community of developers at large, by sending the message that among this community, there are people willing to encounter such ridiculous conditions without running away on the spot, no questions asked.

  • Ya. I'm thinking about it. Seems like that's what everyone has done up to me. Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 18:16

Having accepted a salary position over an hourly one you are stuck with what you agreed to, you can ask if they are interested in changing your agreement but they probably like what they recently decided upon.

On that point, I don't like bait and switch or nickel and diming; unless you wish to quit or be fired you are stuck there.

Do they pay a lot?, accept what they say ...

Do they pay cheap?, find a new job, leave without notice ...

  • Well that is my confusion, I'm not sure what I agreed to now. Is monitoring my hours like this making me an hourly employee because I certainly feel like I'm working as a fast food cashier instead of a salaried developer that does whatever it takes to get a job done. Yes they pay a lot, and a coworker gave me a hint as to why, because they went through several people before me. Only reason why I'm not just walking out is because my commute is so small now and the pay is excellent for this area. Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 18:13
  • Hourly is paid per hour. Salary is paid way more but your hours are not fixed and could exceed '9-5' by over 50%. -- Calculate "a lot" based on "hourly*150%" as a minimum, and more if you're a specialist or people are difficult. If they've gone through a lot of people and learned no lesson don't expect an improvement, only feeling you out to see what they can pull (often because they've been interviewing on spec. and have a replacement waiting in the wings) --- Polish up your resume and use your free time to carefully examine your options - unless you're rich and can afford to tell him off.
    – Rob
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 18:23
  • I think you are right that they probably have a replacement in the wings. The company learned their lesson by paying a lot more this time (now that I know what I know, makes sense why they are giving me so much). My boss however is a stubborn Engineer that is probably on the autism spectrum whom shows some signs of partaking in anger management classes. My options now are much more limited than before I took this job. I just came from Fitbit with just under 2 years there. I don't think it will look good if the next job on my resume is only 3 months. Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 18:37
  • 1
    Leave this job off of your resume and apply elsewhere, that way the interviewer can't make unwanted phone calls. If the interviewer doesn't like it say "Thanks." and get up to leave. If you can find a new job in a couple of months that gap (which you could fill with this job) will make little difference, especially if your next job lasts for years. Sometimes 'Software jobs' do only last several weeks, I'm not sure this will be a glaring hole that will haunt you, especially not as much as the penny-pincher. Test that it's "hourly": claim 10 minutes OT per day, that's 2 1/2 hours per paycheck.
    – Rob
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 19:04

Update: I've just been made aware that if an employer is forcing an Exempt (Salaried) employee to adhere to an hourly schedule, and forcing them to clock-in at a specific time without it being tied to a specific job responsibilty that it can mean they are treating them as a Non-Exempt (hourly) employee. As a consequence that employer may be liable to pay overtime if that employee works past 40 hours. So in fact it is unlawful what my boss is doing in the sense that I'm being treated as hourly and is putting my Exempt status in jeopardy.


  • An employee can require core hours both salaried and hourly paid workers. In other words you can still be late to a job even if you are on a salary (but your not even sure if that’s the case). You should determine what actually is applicable to you. Check your contract.
    – Donald
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 22:16
  • I don't have a contract other than the offer letter which says nothing of this. Plus it doesn't matter, what I said above is the law, an employer can tell employees to do whatever they want but the law still holds they can be liable for things like overtime after the fact even if they refuse to pay it in the first place or even if they make an employee sign that they agree to such practices. Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 22:32

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .