How Many Hours Can a Salaried Employee Works in the US?

The majority of full-time American employees work 40 hours a week. While most are paid for overtime hours, the rest are not. Workers may or may not receive overtime compensation depending upon the type of employment, the company’s size, and the place of residence.

Under current FLSA regulations, the minimum salary for a salaried exempt employee is $35,568 per year ($684 per week). Employees earning less than this amount are entitled to overtime pay for hours over 40 in a workweek.

In 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor has not officially proposed increasing the exempt salary threshold for salaried employees. However, it’s worth noting that the department has the authority to periodically adjust the exempt salary threshold, which was last updated in 2019.

Full-time employee hour laws:
How many hours is considered full-time?
By the low, the full-time employee must work at least 30 hours of service per week or 130 hours per month.

Work time funny

Maximum hours allowed to work per week in the USA do not exist because The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) doesn’t limit how much time an employee can work. The number of hours employees can work in a week is potentially up to the number of hours in the US.

How many hours can an employee work without a break?

  • If the shift length is 3.5 to 6 hours, you must have at least one 10-minute rest break.
  • If the shift length is 5 to 10 hours, you must have at least one 30-minute meal break.
  • If the shift length is 6 to 10 hours, you must have at least two 10-minute rest breaks.
  • If the shift is ten or more hours, you must have two 30-minute meal breaks.

How many hours can a per diem employee work?

There is no limit on how many hours a per diem employee can work. However, by definition, per Diem employees won’t work as much as full-time employees.

What is a salaried employee?

A salaried employee represents a person who receives a fixed amount of pay based on how many hours they work each week. A fixed amount of money or compensation is called a salary.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a U.S. labor law establishing standard rules and regulations for overtime pay and salaried employee hours. Federal law defines overtime compensation as one and a half times the regular salary. However, state laws may have policies that extend beyond federal rules. For example, employers have the right to ask their workers to work overtime. Also, employees can be fired if they deny working overtime. In some cases, salaried workers may not be eligible for overtime pay. The FLSA provides criteria by which salaried workers must be paid for overtime work.

Please visit and read more about Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Fair Labor Standards Act

The FLSA places no restrictions on the number of hours an employee needs to work per day, but some state regulations may have a fixed figure.

The federal act takes into account the employee’s workweek. It considers a week to be a time duration of seven successive 24-hour days or 168 hours. Therefore, non-exempt salaried and hourly workers must be paid for overtime work, i.e., when they work over 40 hours per week.

If you get paid every two weeks and qualify for the criteria of overtime work hours, you cannot be asked to work for 60 hours the first week and then 20 hours the next until you have received compensation for the particular week in which you worked 40 hours.


Can you be forced to work overtime?

Yes, you may be forced to work overtime according to the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA, the federal overtime law. The text of the law says that employers can request that employees work “reasonable overtime.”However, you can refuse to work overtime if the overtime hours are unreasonable. In practice, it is rarely a good option for an employee to refuse to work mandatory overtime hours.

What are the maximum hours a salaried employee has? There is no limit on the number of hours employees 16 years or older may work in any workweek in the U.S.

Can a salaried employee be forced to work overtime? No, employers and employers are free to enter into an employment agreement of their choosing. So there is no force for both parties.

In this video below, you can see How Many Hours Should A Salaried Employee Work?

Employees who meet the minimum exempt salary criteria may also be given overtime, depending on their job responsibilities.

Exempt Salaried Employees

The job can be regarded as exempt only when it meets all the requisite criteria. Generally, three main categories of employees are exempted from overtime regulations if they get qualifying pay. All these employees must be paid a minimum of $455 per week.

  • Executive Employees

These employees are either engaged in managing a subdivision/department of an organization or supervising two other full-time employees. In addition, executive workers play a role in recruiting and dismissing other workers.

  • Administrative Employees

The administrative workers are involved in office tasks related to the organization’s business management and operations.

  • Professional Workers

A professional workforce usually handles intellectual jobs based on advanced education and knowledge. They have gained expertise in science or research after many years of studies and training.

Thus, if a salaried employee is considered an executive yet is tasked with just one worker’s supervision, they are eligible for overtime pay.

Exceptions to The FLSA

The FLSA doesn’t apply to every full-time worker. Some private organizations fulfill the complete criteria but may be exempted from overtime job rules. These companies share the following features:

  • First, they do not market or sell beyond State boundaries.
  • Second, they do not work on or manage goods sold beyond the State boundaries.
  • Third, they have an annual business income of lower than $500,000.

However, some types of organizations must always adhere to the FLSA rules. These are hospitals, residential medical centers or nursing homes, preschools and schools, and governmental agencies.

The FLSA regulations also cover domestic helpers, i.e., housekeepers, cooks, and full-time babysitters. Currently, the FLSA protects over 143 million Americans.

State Exceptions to The FLSA

Some states make it mandatory for employees to be given overtime pay for working over 8 hours in one day. This applies to California, Nevada, and Alaska.

In California, an overtime employee receives a double-time payment if working 12 hours or above in one day. Also, if an employee works for all seven days of the week, even if for 40 hours or less, they become eligible for overtime pay. Overall, people working their first 8 hours on the 7th day of the week receive time-and-a-half and double-time if they work over 8 hours.

Whereas in Colorado, employees may not receive a double-time salary if they work 8+ hours a day and do not work 40+ hours per week. Here, they get a time-and-a-half compensation after putting in 12 hours of work per day.

Further, Oregon has specific rules for workers in the manufacturing sector. For example, these workers receive overtime salaries if they work at least 10 hours daily.

State rules less rigid than FLSA do not cover most public and private workers.

Labor Laws for Underaged

Laws related to Child Labor forbid employing people under 18 in a particular set of jobs. For the permitted jobs, these regulations state a restriction regarding the number of work hours and timings for workers below 16.

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel:

Recent Posts