How should exempt employees record their time?

I am an exempt employee. It is very common to work more than 50 hours a week in the company. Yet management requires us to “adjust” the hours that we report on time sheet to no more than 40 hours. Is this legal?

Posted  05-27-2014

Ann Kiernan replies:

No! It is never OK to record false hours of work. While you do not have to be paid overtime, your time records should be accurate. For example, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act allows up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for various reasons. The “week” is not an automatic 40 hours, but based on the employee’s normal work week. So, someone like you who works 50 hours a week, should be entitled to 600 hours of FMLA time (12 x 50), not 480 (12 x 40).

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Ann Kiernan has litigated claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination before state and federal courts and administrative matters before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, representing both employers and employees. Ms. Kiernan co-hosted The Employee Rights Forum, a weekly radio call-in show reaching up to a half-million listeners in the New York metropolitan area, and her articles on employment law have been published in many books and magazines. Both as a firm partner and as a director, Ms. Kiernan gained solid experience in management and human resources compliance. She has worked with Fair Measures since 1997.