I received my first paycheck from my current employer and it stays that I only worked 70 hours in a 2 week period and when I asked HR they stated that I am a 35 hour a week exempt employee:

Certain types of employees, often classified as exempt employees, are not entitled to overtime pay as guaranteed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Apparently, the salary is the exact same and the rate is simply higher when calculated. I am curious as to why my employer would label me as a 35-hour workweek employee that is exempt which essentially means I work the same amount of hours but on paper, I am labeled at only 35 and also the pay is the exact same. Is there a benefit for them or for the employee?

United States

  • What country are you in? Feb 14, 2020 at 21:55
  • @GrandmasterB United States
    – Rami
    Feb 14, 2020 at 21:58
  • I asked HR and they don't have a good reason at least those that responded.
    – Rami
    Feb 14, 2020 at 22:03
  • 1
    @Rami it seems to be a method for improving work life balance - as an exempt employees you are meant to do on average 35 hours a week instead of 40. I think you many not be clear on what being salaried vs hourly paid means. Feb 14, 2020 at 23:03
  • 1
    35 hours a week is 9-5 with a one hour unpaid lunch break built into the salary. What's the issue?
    – Player One
    Feb 14, 2020 at 23:11

2 Answers 2


35 Hours a week is 9-5 with a one hour unpaid lunch break (that has been built into the salary).

The company will probably require you to work unpaid overtime every now and then, but this is a way of signalling that they trust you to be responsible with your hours, and sensible with the breaks you take.

It's a good thing, no need to be suspicious of it.

  • Yeah, it's a positive thing
    – Kilisi
    Feb 14, 2020 at 23:56

Does it matter how many hours you are paid for?

There are two things that matter. Your salary, and the hours that you actually work.

You worked on average 40 hours a week. Is your salary good / Okish / bad for 40 hours of work at the quality of work that you are doing? That's what you have to decide. If it's not enough, then you can discuss it with whoever is reponsible for your salary and/or your work hours, and you can look for a job elsewhere with fewer hours and better salary.

If in the future your company asks you to work more (say 60 hours a week), you have to decide again whether the salary is enough or the hours are too much. You are supposed to work more hours if it is required for the company. The company not hiring enough people for the work is not a reason to work overtime. The company not organising work properly is not a good reason to work overtime. A sales person signing stupid deals is not a good reason to work overtime.

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