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I have several projects coming up that require working either Saturday or Sunday. My normal schedule is first shift Monday through Friday, but due to restrictions from a client, they need work done on the weekend. I'm a salaried employee.

Is it typical to request either Friday or Monday off since I'll lose a weekend day? Would it likely to be approved by a reasonable manager? The client is paying extra for the weekend work, even though I'll be performing the work for my standard pay, if that matters.

Edit:

I'm not under any contract, but there is a "non-binding" employee handbook. It says that occasionally employees may have to work over 40 hours without compensation, if they're salaried, which I am. However, it also says that an exception is if the client agrees to overtime as part of a project. I'm not really sure what's technically "paying overtime", but we charge different rates based on if the clients needs us to work a weekend or holiday. The handbook doesn't mention taking time off due to working extra.

  • Yes, it's reasonable. The worst that could happen is that they say 'no'. Just ask your current manager. Don't overthink it. They'll tell you 'no' if they don't like it. Just phrase the request as a request, not a legal requirement. – Stephan Branczyk Nov 6 '19 at 20:14
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    It says that you may have to work over 40 hours. Does it say you may have to work on Weekends/holidays? Working an extra hour here and there on your normal days is a different thing from coming in on a day you had planned off, entirely. – さりげない告白 Nov 7 '19 at 0:34
  • There is this caveat known as a compensatory-off wherein you can ask for a day off to compensate working on weekends or company holidays. Big companies have that in their clause. Not very sure about the smaller ones and start-ups. – srini Nov 7 '19 at 10:22
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Is it typical to request either Friday or Monday off since I'll lose a weekend day?

That depends on your contract - if you have regular working hours of 38-40 h a week, it's definitely understandable to ask for a day off during the week and no reasonable manager should refuse your request since they would breach applicable employment/labour-laws.

If you have an all-in contract where a certain amount of overtime per week is included in your contract, your manager has a point to argue about your request, but that all again depends on your contract and the difference between the set amount of included overtime and the actual overtime done by you.

The client is paying extra for the weekend work..

What the client is paying for weekend-work to your employer doesn't play a factor in this situation, again - refer to your actual contract and try not to burn yourself out - a healthy work/life-balance should be taken into consideration.

  • There's no contract, just a "non-binding" employee handbook. It's a bit confusing because it says we may have to work over a 40 hour work week without compensation, but an exception is if the client agrees to pay for the overtime. – Andy Nov 6 '19 at 16:28
  • @Geoff So you are employed but you have no contract with your employer, do I understand you correctly? Does the employee-handbook mention how many hours overtime can be demanded at max per week or is it just a vague statement? – iLuvLogix Nov 6 '19 at 16:35
  • Just a vague statement. Since I work in the US, in an at-will state, there isn't an official contract. – Andy Nov 6 '19 at 16:36
  • @Geoff According to the information on ICLG under 4.6 you can have flexible working hours and since you are still under the US-emplyment law, I guess your demand is reasonable.. – iLuvLogix Nov 6 '19 at 16:48
  • @Geoff You may want to add your clarifications in these comments to your questions - this way you'll get a better suited answer for your situation.. ;) – iLuvLogix Nov 6 '19 at 16:51
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Is it typical to request either Friday or Monday off since I'll lose a weekend day?

You need to check your company policy for the exact entitlement.

I am not aware of exact rules / norms for USA, but from my past experience of working with multi-national organizations, I can see this to be addressed either of below ways:

  • Compensatory off: This is what you are hoping for, avail a leave in exchange of working on a weekly-off day.
  • Compensatory Pay: In this method, the organization pays a certain amount of money (ranging from 1.5X-2X of your daily remuneration) for working those extra hours.
  • Leave Credit: You get one day of leave (or, pro-rated, based on the actual time spent) credited to your leave balance.

Would it likely to be approved by a reasonable manager?

Yes, it would. There's nothing wrong in knowing your entitlement and asking for it.

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It really depends on the workplace.

This kind of behavior is SOP at my current workplace here in the USA. It is understood that some downtime is required for good mental health. If your work impedes on your scheduled downtime, you should take action to remedy the situation. Otherwise, you will eventually burn out.

At my previous job, they had a "2080 rule" (2080 = 52 weeks x 40 hours) which was essentially the opposite of what you are asking about. At review time they would bring up your hours report, and anyone who worked less than 2080 in the previous year was not eligible for a raise. Every hour that I took off for vacation, I would need to find some way to make up that time over the course of the year.

Needless to say, it was a toxic environment, filled with people who were burnt out or getting there. Conversely, at my present job it is expected that you will maintain yourself. Sometimes the job calls for long hours and long weeks. When that happens, I will often sleep in / start late or create artificial weekends on Tuesday / Wednesday to maintain my mental health.

The important thing is to communicate effectively. Talk with your manager about the impact this is having on your health and well-being, and propose a solution. If he doesn't agree, it might be time to look for a better position with a company that cares more about your long term effectiveness.

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This is assuming you are working in the United States.

According the the Fair Standards and Labor Act covered and non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay by law. So legally no, they do not have to give you any time off if you are an exempt employee. There may be exceptions where they are doing contract with the federal government and local and state laws may vary.

That being said, a good employer would recognize that this would lead to employee dissatisfaction and the right thing to do would be to compensate your time. Though they don’t have to do this it would prevent employee burnout. It would be reasonable to ask your supervisor or HR and they likely have a policy or others have set a precedent.

Reasonable and legal are two separate things. Yes it is reasonable to ask but there is no legal obligation for them to do so.

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As a salaried employee, you have to do what the business requires. As you describe it, there is a business requirement that you should work on a Saturday and/or on a Sunday. On the other hand, I can't see a business requirement that you should work more than five days a week. Your manager or you boss might quite like the idea that you work an extra day or two without pay, but that doesn't make it a business requirement. (And a company not hiring enough people to do the work also doesn't make overtime a business requirement).

So when you are asked "You need to do this job on Saturday, it is an important customer requirement" then your answer should be "Sure, no problem, so I'll do this job on Saturday and then come in on Tuesday morning". By stating it as the natural thing - work on the Saturday instead of a Monday - you make it very hard for the manager to argue against it.

If they do, they argue from a weak position. You are not asking for a day off, you are stating that you agree to a switch of working days. There are many people working in shops or restaurants, or firefighters and so on, who often have a working pattern including work on Saturday or Sunday - that doesn't mean they work six or seven days a week.

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