OT Exempt vs Hourly

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about unequal pay for hourly over salaried:

I have a situation in the office I manage that is bothering me. We have four ladies in the Administrative branch of our company. Three of the ladies are on salary, one is hourly but she clearly falls into the Administrative Exemption category. She gets paid time and a half where as the other three don’t. I see a possible time bomb ticking. One lady has all ready voiced her opinion that she “sure would like to work over and get paid for it!” I would appreciate your comments on this situation please. Office Manager

Signed, Office Manager

Dear Office Manager:

The distinction between salaried and hourly is a matter of your organization’s policy. Generally being on salary is preferred by seniority and perks. Hourly status follows regulations pertaining to not being coerced to working off the clock. Since you are the office manager, you should have a say in deciding who merits the status of salary and of hourly. And what is the process for promotion to salaried.

Possibly, you should consult about this matter with your superior and/or Human Resources and be clear in your own mind the criteria. I would be interested in learning what you decide.What really matters to those in your work group is that you are a coach that strives to treat all fairly and express a real interest in the welfare of each. So often a superior is task rather than person-centered. Time is never wasted by consulting with those one manages about how they see their present working conditions and plans/dreams for the future. Ego is one’s defense and natural self-interest. WEGO is giving voice to mutual interests in light of self-interest.

Follow Up: I should have stated in my first question that I am Office Manager who has no authority. All the ladies were hired in and immediately put on salary except for one. She has been here two years and is hourly and works all the overtime she wants. I have no say in authorizing her overtime. Our controller is also the owner’s wife and they kind of make up the rules as they go. We have a company handbook but it does not go into detail regarding hourly and salaried.I want to put this lady on salary and that was my intent. The decision was made to do so by the controller. I notified my employee she was going to be on salary. Incidentally, she asked me repeatedly in the beginning of her employment when would she be put on salary? The next morning the controller advised me that she had changed her mind. She wants to keep this lady on hourly because she is at her beck and  call. Now I have long term office staff who are complaining about the “special one” who is getting all the perks. We get none by the way. Salary only means that we get 40 hrs if we work it.

Follow Up Reply: No authority? But because of your position you do have influence. You can voice the dissatisfaction of your salaried workers to the controller and the wife of the owner. They certainly want the commitment and loyalty rather than complaining about unfairness of being salaried. I’m sure you will do your best to represent the concerns of your work group–knowing that working together as a team entails feelings that those who shape policy have their interest at heart. Will you keep us posted on how all of this evolves?

William Gorden