Are managers entitled to overtime?

Nine To Five: Special to The Globe and Mail, Published Sunday, Jan. 03, 2016

THE QUESTION

I turned down a job offer recently because the company owner insisted that “managers” on salary are not entitled to overtime pay. She would provide time off in lieu, but only if the district was performing to her satisfaction.

I thought this sounded fishy and possibly in conflict with the provincial Employment Standards Act. Also, the terms seemed way too skewed to the discretion of the employer to be fair. Work weeks of 50 to 70 hours were possible without a defined remedy. A friend who works in management as a supervisor disagrees with me, but many people have different takes on this matter.

THE ANSWER

You made your decision based on what you deemed to be fair and what is in line with your values. Feel fortunate that the company told you before you took the job that they required overtime without compensation. The owner sounds like a control freak; it appears you did the smart thing by turning down the job.

When you are paid a salary in a management position, it is common that a company not pay overtime or time in lieu. If you can’t negotiate your terms in the interview, you aren’t going to get what you want once you start working.

When you interview for a position, it is important for your happiness and sustainability within the company that you compare the company’s values with yours. Salary and perks are only a part of the picture. The most contented employees are those who are respected and rewarded for their contributions beyond monetary compensation. If the commute is too long, don’t take the job; if the company’s views on social responsibility doesn’t match yours, don’t take the job. If the hours are long and the pay is very generous, and you are motivated by money, possibly take the job. The owner’s attitude scared me. Keep looking.

Colleen Clarke
Career Specialist and Corporate Trainer

Author of Networking How To Build Relationships That Count and How To Get a Job and Keep It