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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Salaried vs. Hourly: Which is better?

In my travels, I've had the opportunity to work in and observe places that pay their social workers either hourly (typically non-exempt) or salaried (typically exempt). Here's my analysis of each one and my thoughts of which I'd rather work.

Hourly


Pros:
-Time and a half overtime pay after working 8 hours
-Guaranteed lunch and break periods, with overtime pay if they're not taken
-Time and a half pay for working holidays
-Time and a half pay for working more than 40 hours a week
-Going home after 8 hours so management doesn't have to pay overtime

Cons:
-Strict rules regarding lunches (i.e. no answering phones, no talking about work, no lunch interruptions, etc.)
-Required breaks and lunch negatively impacting a busy day, resulting in having to stay at work later
-Management getting upset when overtime is used too often
-Loss of paid time off or wages during holidays and sick days
-Loss of wages if your hours are cut from low workload


Salaried


Pros:
-Guaranteed pay, regardless of hours worked (which means no pay reductions for going home early due to low workload or sometimes illness)
-Option to not take lunches or breaks if you have too much work to do
-No worries about clocking in and out

Cons:
-Having to stay at work until it's finished (which may mean having to work more than 8 hours, weekends, and holidays)
-No extra compensation for working overtime, weekends, holidays, and during lunch
-Higher probability of burning out from long hours

Personally, I would never take a salaried job that doesn't pay anything for overtime. One you work more than 8 hours, your average hourly salary begins to drop. I've seen many co-workers stay 9, 10, even 12 hours at work, sometimes without taking a single breaks. I don't think it's healthy, and I can't help but wonder how much personal/family/self-care time my co-workers get after pulling these long hours day after day. Social workers are underpaid as it is. No need to bring down your wages further by working for free after 8 hours.

What are your thoughts on salaried vs. hourly positions? Which one do you work, and what do you feel are the pros and cons?

3 comments:

  1. I am a hourly paid social worker at a residential facility. Although there are definitely days when I wish I didn't have to worry about punching in...my union and hourly pay have treated me well. This past year my program was short staffed, which led to me earning almost $5,000 in over time, plus the triple time holidays that I volunteered to take on. Was I over worked? Yes. Was I thrilled they hired another worker to share my position? Yes. Do I miss the extra hours? No. But I admit the pay was great!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Becky,

      I'm glad that you were compensated extra for the work you did. We social workers are already overworked and underpaid as it is! You definitely deserve the overtime pay!

      Thank you so much for visiting!

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  2. I've had the opportunity to work in and observe places that pay their social workers either hourly (typically non-exempt) or salaried (typically exempt). Here's my analysis of each one and my thoughts of which I'd rather work.
    masters degree in social work

    ReplyDelete