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Definition of “Salary”

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I have a friend who frequently asks me:

“Since I’m salary don’t you think I should be able to come in to work at 9am?  I think that’s fair.”

Different companies have different salary policies.  Some say you must work a minimum of 40 hours per week.  Some say you need to work as many hours to get all of your work done – whether that’s 25 hours or 55 hours.

I know that personally I must be at work by 8am because I have an obligation to my team and to the company to provide my service and knowledge should someone knocking.  So that whole “I don’t have to show up until 9am” think won’t fly in my job.

So is there a “right” definition of salary?  I’m curious to see what everyone’s salary policy is at their work place. Is showing up at 9am acceptable?

6 responses »

  1. At my previous job, all of the management was salaried (it was a leasing office). Many times, my manager would come in later than everyone else, and then leave earlier, because [that person] was on salary. Many times, this led to frustration between all of us that were hourly employees — we work just as hard as the manager does (and often, have more difficult days because we are on the front lines of dealing with angry residents) and it led to resentment that the manager could come and go as [he/she] pleased while we were stuck in the office. Also, many times, that person would get on FB and RSVP to events and things like that, and discuss leaving work early. Not cool! I think generally, it’s better practice to be in whenever the rest of your office comes in.

    • Urgh that drives me nuts when people feel entitled to work less hours and produce less output just because they think they’re gods gift to heaven! It makes you feel like your work isn’t valued when they don’t even value their work, how do people like that get those type of positions? It baffles me.

  2. I think working 40 hrs a week seems appropriate to require of someone getting paid full-time. How an employee reaches 40 hours doesn’t bother me as long as it does not hinder other’s work or miss meetings.


    • Kelly – I agree. It’s necessary for others to be able to get their job done AND reach 40 hours of work at the same time. Thank you for the comment, Kelly!

  3. I think it depends on the culture of your workplace and the industry you work in. For example, if I close a multi-million dollar deal that brings $200,000 in revenue to my company one day, am I expected to be there at 8 a.m. the next day? Or if I don’t close any deals in two months time, am I expected to work 60 vs. 40 hours a week? These are tough questions! Also, how do you measure amount of time spent working if you’re on call 24-7? For me it all goes back to basic principles … am I being fair to my teammates, accomplishing what I set out to do, providing value to my company, communicating with my counterparts and making sure that what I’m doing is matching up with what is expected of me, etc.? I don’t think there is one simple answer; rather it’s a combination of culture, role within the company, and structure of the job.

    • Tiffany – it’s definitely a combination of culture, role, and job structure, I completely agree. I think what is hard for people to figure out is THEIR role within the company, what the culture of the company is, and what the structure of the job is supposed to be as opposed to what they want it to be. Thank you for your comment – you bring up some great points!


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