I would like to ask about overtime pay. Most of the time I receive lots of workload to the point that it is impossible to finish it within a given time.

For example, I have a one-week deadline to improve an existing website, but judging by the appearance and code of the website it may take up to two weeks to accomplish. Due to this I managed to work overtime not just for one day, but even up to the whole week. Unfortunately this is not within the scope of overtime pay. On the one hand they didn't force me to do the overtime, but on the other hand they've given me an impossible workload.

I'am working with a fixed monthly salary, specifically minimum wage. Due to privacy matters I will not tell the name of the company. And lastly I do some preparation about the scope and timeline of the project, but at the end of the day the gantt chart that I've prepared is just useless.

How do I manage this one?

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    Hi Cary Bondoc and welcome to The Workplace! Unfortunately, the question you asked is very similar to Underpaid and overworked, how should I approach my boss? and is likely to be put on hold/closed as a duplicate. If your situation is not handled by that question, I recommend that you edit your question and explain the specific differences so that it can avoid closure and attract some good answers. I hope to see you around :D Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 23:36
  • Noted Mr. Matt, I'll check and look for the difference. In case that they are not different is it okay to delete this topic by myself? Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 23:38
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    Yep, you can flag your answer as a duplicate and that should speed the process along. You can also see the official help section on duplicates for more info. Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 23:48
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    Please edit your question to give more details. Where do you work? Are you paid with a fixed salary or an hourly wage> Are you able to help prepare the time estimates for the projects you undertake?
    – O. Jones
    Commented Aug 2, 2014 at 1:18
  • "How do I manage this one>" - to do what? What are your objectives? Commented Aug 2, 2014 at 1:44

1 Answer 1


This is a difficult situation.

It sounds to me like your employer (your boss perhaps, or the sales people of your company) are severely underestimating the costs of the projects they undertake.

It sounds to me like you, in an effort to cooperate and make the company successful, are doing your best to get the work done within the constraints of their poor estimates.

This is not sustainable for you or your company. You cannot keep doing this year-in and year-out. You will get exhausted and your health and family will suffer.

It is going to take some courage and hard-nosed professionalism from you to change this behavior in your company. You need to write a completion memo at the end of each project, saying something like "the estimate was 35 hours of labor, and the actual time spent was 50 hours." Then you need to give details on how much time you spent on each part of the job: planning, design, coding, testing, talking to the client, etc. The point of writing this memo is to understand what kind of work it really takes to complete each project. You are building a base of experience with these completion memos.

Then you need to start insisting that you have input into the estimating and costing process. You need to base your estimates on your base of experience.

If you continue silently rescuing your company from poor estimates, they will never learn how to estimate correctly. They will not appreciate your efforts. They will just make you work harder and harder.

Estimating is difficult, and takes a lot of diligence and experience. Keep doing it and you'll get better at it.

It is not going to be pleasant to deal with this issue. But it is necessary both for you and the company.

  • If I got many periods of less work or slack earlier, is it okay if I have to do overtime sometimes to make up ? Personally, I would make up a bit without expecting overtime pay. However, if the work was too much, then I would mention overtime pay. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. Thank you. Chenqui. Commented Aug 2, 2014 at 1:33
  • Many kinds of work have slow times and busy times: that is normal. It's not normal for every single week of work to be extra busy for months at a time. In that case you should ask for overtime pay, and for more people to do the work. If you are a US wage worker, your employer is obliged to pay you overtime pay when you work more that 40 hours per week.
    – O. Jones
    Commented Aug 2, 2014 at 1:36
  • @OllieJones, your employer is not legally obligated to pay you overtime unless you are a non-expempt emplyee. Salried employees are exempt from overtime and most IT people are salaried.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Aug 2, 2014 at 19:42
  • @HLGEM, as I said, if you are "a US wage worker", the fair labor standards act requires overtime pay.
    – O. Jones
    Commented Aug 2, 2014 at 19:47
  • @OllieJones, I thought it might need clarification for others as some might take wage worker to be anyone who earns money.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 19:35

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