Do Salaried Employees Have to Work 40 Hours?

A salaried employee can work more or less than 40 hours per week depending on the employer’s needs, according to the Department of Labor. Whether an employer can adjust the employee’s pay based on the number of hours worked depends on the employee’s exemption status, says the Houston Chronicle.

An employer may require an exempt salaried employee to work a specific schedule, says PayScale. The employer can choose whether to pay for hours worked above the scheduled hours. Employers cannot reduce the exempt employee’s salary for failure to work the complete schedule, except under specific enumerated circumstances, according to the Department of Labor.

If the employee is not exempt, the employer must pay overtime for every worked hour over 40 in a week. A non-exempt employee’s salary may be decreased for working fewer than 40 hours in a week, notes PayScale.