Poll

How many hours per week would you work being paid overtime (1.5x) for any hours over 40?

40 hours max
40-50 hours
50-60 hours
60-70 hours
70-80 hours
80+ hours

Author Topic: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?  (Read 2181 times)

Enough

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For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« on: January 20, 2019, 06:49:08 AM »
Background - Chemical Engineer that is normally salary without overtime.  Work at a manufacturing site that runs 24/7. 

There is a supervisor's role that normally has 4 individuals plus a relief supervisor, but within a month, the company has let two individuals go for policy violations and a third went on short term disability.  When I was brought on to the company I was trained as a supervisor to expedite learning the facility and, as such, I am the individual that is now being placed on shift with the remaining supervisor and relief supervisor and the three of us are now providing 24/7 coverage for this role.  This means minimum 60 hour work weeks to cover the shift work plus any overtime that I want to work to cover my engineering job.  Overtime being paid at 1.5x hourly rate based off my current salary. Depending on the individual who is on short term disability, this situation is likely to continue for ~6 months as that is the minimum training time for this role.

I can't work from home, but the commute is 15min, which is not bad.

I know others here might be in a situation where they have the option to make as much as they want with overtime, or been in such a situation in the past, so where would do you draw the line?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 07:53:35 AM by Enough »

use2betrix

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2019, 07:08:15 AM »
60 hrs? I remember my first part time job.

60 hrs is the standard for my industry (industrial construction). Iíd say 90% of my career for the last decade has been 6 days a week, usually 58-60 hrs.

In 2016 I did a 3.5 month stint of 12 hrs/day, 7 days a week, with every other Sunday off. December 2017-May 2018 I did 6 months of those same hours. I havenít had a sick day in 9 years and even when working a lot, we still exercise 3x/wk, get plenty of sleep, and eat healthy.

Everyoneís different, some people think 40hrs is terrible. As long as Iím hourly or on a day rate I have no problem picking up extra hours, especially now that Iím to the point that I can take sabbaticals in between longer projects.

Enough

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2019, 07:21:36 AM »
60 hrs? I remember my first part time job.

60 hrs is the standard for my industry (industrial construction). Iíd say 90% of my career for the last decade has been 6 days a week, usually 58-60 hrs.

In 2016 I did a 3.5 month stint of 12 hrs/day, 7 days a week, with every other Sunday off. December 2017-May 2018 I did 6 months of those same hours. I havenít had a sick day in 9 years and even when working a lot, we still exercise 3x/wk, get plenty of sleep, and eat healthy.

Everyoneís different, some people think 40hrs is terrible. As long as Iím hourly or on a day rate I have no problem picking up extra hours, especially now that Iím to the point that I can take sabbaticals in between longer projects.

Am I correct in assuming you work straight days? 

To provide 24/7 coverage we swing from night shift to day shift every week which limits the maximum working days in a row to 6.  Normal shift with changeover is 13 hours, 16 hours max.

How would you say your personal life / relationship(?) was affected by averaging a 78 hour work week for 6 months?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 07:23:11 AM by Enough »

OtherJen

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2019, 07:56:09 AM »
Background - Chemical Engineer that is normally salary without overtime.  Work at a manufacturing site that runs 24/7. 

There is a supervisor's role that normally has 4 individuals plus a relief supervisor, but within a month, the company has let two individuals go and a third went on short term disability.  When I was brought on to the company I was trained as a supervisor to expedite learning the facility and, as such, I am the individual that is now being placed on shift with the remaining supervisor and relief supervisor and the three of us are now providing 24/7 coverage for this role.  This means minimum 60 hour work weeks to cover the shift work plus any overtime that I want to work to cover my engineering job.  Overtime being paid at 1.5x hourly rate based off my current salary. Depending on the individual who is on short term disability, this situation is likely to continue for ~6 months as that is the minimum training time for this role.

I can't work from home, but the commute is 15min, which is not bad.

I know others here might be in a situation where they have the option to make as much as they want with overtime, or been in such a situation in the past, so where would do you draw the line?

Do you have kids? I was raised by my SAHM mom while dad worked 7-day weeks, including a few double shifts for good measure (70-80 hour weeks, usually). When he was at home, he was crabby or asleep. My mom basically raised me alone for several years of my childhood and when dad lost the opportunity for excess overtime and mom went back to work, we quickly found out that dad and I had very little relationship to speak of and he had no idea how to parent a middle-schooler. Mom and dad nearly split up then, because their relationship had deteriorated so much.

In summary, consider all others that might be affected. If this will likely only last a few months, then itís probably okay to make hay while the sun shines as long as your dependents have social support. If the end is indefinite, thatís a very different consideration.

FIRE 20/20

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2019, 08:12:33 AM »
I think it depends on too many factors to give a simple answer.  Do you like the work?  Is it physically demanding?  Mentally draining or invigorating?  Do you have kids at home?  Do you have a spouse?  Do they work or not?  When you get home do you have a life you enjoy leading with hobbies or family time, or do you just sit in front of the TV?  Are you pushing towards FIRE at any cost or are you trying to coast?  If you're early in your FIRE journey, that extra money will be a big deal as it compounds but if you're in the last few years then the extra money won't move the needle very much as your existing 'stache does most of the heavy lifting. 

I have a life to live, so regularly occurring OT or an extended period of OT (3+ months?) would not be ok for me.  However, I have worked a few projects that were 100+ hours per week because they were capped at 6 weeks.  I didn't even get any extra pay for those periods.  I was willing to do it and even volunteered because I knew it would be a huge boost to my career.  The extra bonuses, larger raises, promotions, and consulting opportunities that work opened up were more valuable than 1.5x pay to me.  At this point (approaching FIRE) I wouldn't work 60 hour weeks for 6 months because the pay isn't worth losing the opportunities to maintain my health and mental well-being for that length of time.  But if I were just starting out I might take the opportunity to bank a lot of money that would compound for decades and trim my working career short earlier than I could otherwise. 

Aunt Petunia

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2019, 08:21:10 AM »
It really depends on what you have going on outside work, and how stressful or boring your job is. I am in a job where I could have as much overtime as I want and I typically only do one extra shift every 2 weeks, and only when not doing my side hustle. Before kids I did a little more but it was in spurts. I knew one guy who would frequently pick up shifts and even work back to back 16s: he ended up in the ER with stomach ulcers.

If you are just starting out and don't have kids yet, go ahead and try it but don't commit long term. Whatever you do, make sure you have enough time left for exercise, decent meals, and enough sleep. It isn't worth risking your health or getting burned out.

Enough

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2019, 08:50:11 AM »
Good questions, additional info:

I think it depends on too many factors to give a simple answer. 
Do you like the work?  Usually
Is it physically demanding?  Incredibly demanding on days, M-F.  Some coasting on nights and weekends
Mentally draining or invigorating?  It is fast paced, yes to both. Usually dead when I get home.
Do you have kids at home?  No
Do you have a spouse?  Non-married SO
Do they work or not?  Yes, in a job they love at a fraction of the salary.
When you get home do you have a life you enjoy leading with hobbies or family time, or do you just sit in front of the TV?  Usually dead when I get home.
Are you pushing towards FIRE at any cost or are you trying to coast?  I have slowed down in the last year and a half after I moved and took this job in the city that I grew up.  I have been spending more time with old friends and family.
If I were just starting out I might take the opportunity to bank a lot of money that would compound for decades and trim my working career short earlier than I could otherwise:  I am a little under the 50% mark for total FIRE goal, and probably a little over the 50% mark as far as total working years. I thoroughly understand the reasoning here and if the stock market or real estate market were to decline that would bump up my willingness to work OT.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 09:12:40 AM by Enough »

DreamFIRE

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2019, 08:53:40 AM »
I thought 50 hour weeks were sucking up too much of my free time, let alone 60+.   These days I'm down in the low 40's in the office and some remote work from home since I'm always on-call.  And I would avoid working any more than that unless I had to despite being paid extra for it.

ketchup

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2019, 09:51:00 AM »
I'd probably work longer hours, but not more days unless I had a hair-on-fire financial emergency or nothing better to do.

jojoguy

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2019, 09:54:14 AM »
I chose 40, but I probably would work whatever they(my employer) offers. They don`t allow OT all of the time, and I take advantage whenever they give it. I`d regret it if I don`t. I have a goal of hitting over 700 overtime hours this year. It looks like it will be very very possible for me.

beer-man

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2019, 11:01:49 AM »
For me the line is where it affects relationships, primarily my wife and kids.
Sounds like in your case the OT potential is only for a finite time. If your hungry go get it, if not don’t.
 It’s a very personal decision


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mountain mustache

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2019, 11:20:27 AM »
I work 50-55 hours a week (only very occasionally 60) from about April to the end of August in my job. That is our busy season, and it is just what we have to do. The 1.5x pay is great, and makes slow Winters easier. But, by the beginning of August, I am done. Fried, grumpy, sick of not having free time to relax. I couldn't do it for more than 4 months, which is about what I do. But, I'm not a workaholic, don't enjoy being busy, and am not fulfilled in any way by giving my life up for work, and I know the same is not true for everyone.

use2betrix

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2019, 06:58:02 PM »
60 hrs? I remember my first part time job.

60 hrs is the standard for my industry (industrial construction). Iíd say 90% of my career for the last decade has been 6 days a week, usually 58-60 hrs.

In 2016 I did a 3.5 month stint of 12 hrs/day, 7 days a week, with every other Sunday off. December 2017-May 2018 I did 6 months of those same hours. I havenít had a sick day in 9 years and even when working a lot, we still exercise 3x/wk, get plenty of sleep, and eat healthy.

Everyoneís different, some people think 40hrs is terrible. As long as Iím hourly or on a day rate I have no problem picking up extra hours, especially now that Iím to the point that I can take sabbaticals in between longer projects.

Am I correct in assuming you work straight days? 

To provide 24/7 coverage we swing from night shift to day shift every week which limits the maximum working days in a row to 6.  Normal shift with changeover is 13 hours, 16 hours max.

How would you say your personal life / relationship(?) was affected by averaging a 78 hour work week for 6 months?

Yes - this was only day shift. Usually 6-6 or 7-7. The first long stint of 12ís in 2016 was very physical. I was in a refinery climbing through pipe racks in a harness in Louisiana heat for about 9-10 of the 12 hours. I lost around 8 lbs the first month and I was already thin.

The second stint was 90% office work. I came into a terribly failing project as it was about 80% complete and was responsible for turning a lot of it around. It was the most messed up and stressful job and 6 months of my life. I was getting paid time and a half and held on. I was appreciated by the people that mattered at least (had up to 22 direct reports at one point) I left that job last summer.

As for your questions - I am married and my wife doesnít work. My wife is truly an amazing woman. She doesnít work (we donít have kids) but she makes my life as easy as possible to work those hours, and even during my regular 60 hrs the rest of my career. She makes breakfast while Iíd get ready in the morning. Sheíd cook and pack delicious, healthy meals. She ran all the errands, all the shopping, etc. so while I worked a ton, my time not working was spent at the gym with my wife several times a week, we still did date nights every weekend, lots of Netflix and relaxing during the week.

I had worked similar hours while young and single (usually 10 hrs 7 days a week) and it was somewhat hard but I enjoyed the money and being young helped.)

I canít stress how fortunate I am to have such a supportive wife (and I make sure she knows that). She never, ever complains about my hours, sheís more mustachian than me, etc. Since I am a contract worker, weíre now to the point that we can take good sabbaticals between jobs. Unfortunately (weíll, fortunately too) Iím about a year into what will be a 2.5 year stretch of straight work. its leveraging us towards FIRE fast.

JZinCO

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2019, 07:29:10 PM »
I've learned that as my base pay increases, I have been less willing to work additional hours.

Working 100 hour weeks (fourteen 16 hr days followed by two 8 hr paid days off) in the summers paid for my undergrad. But when I went down to 60 hours I was able to have some personal and social time in the evenings.
These days I rarely work over 40 unless it is a lucrative contract  (at 4x my regular salary). Even then, I tend to get stressed out and work evenings and weekends for a month so I tend not to do that more than twice a year.

edit: I have a family member that works 70 hour weeks to support a family of five (the other parent works 40). And I know if the paycheck wasn't needed they would put their notice in the next day. Working over 40 can add serious emotional stress, missing out on major family events, etc.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 07:34:22 PM by JZinCO »

Linea_Norway

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2019, 04:55:17 AM »
Being able to relax in the evenings is very important for my health. Last year I worked a couple of hours per day overtime for a period and felt very burned out during that time. That is one of the reasons I am now working 80% (4 days a week). But earlier, I was willing to work a little paid overtime per week, but max 10 hours or so per week extra.

May2030

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2019, 01:57:37 PM »
It all depends on the type of work and yourself. If you find yourself getting tired and burned out, in the long term doing lots of overtime could cost you money. You get fed up with the place and do not want to do any extra. However if you can achieve a balance fill your boots and make hay while the sun shines. Have a defined goal for the extra cash and once achieved take a break and do less. If it is a intense job give give yourself a full day off each week.

That comes from Captain Hindsight as in my younger days I worked 100 hours a month overtime and blew every penny going out and buying rubbish.( I could of fired 10 years ago but was not even paying into a pension at the time) Looking back I was living to work and the tax man got the greatest benefit from my labour.  I used to love my job, there was little stress so it was no great hardship but I wish I had worked less. The tax system here means any more than two shifts a month doesn't pay, so I do very little these days.

tralfamadorian

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2019, 02:14:53 PM »
I would math it out. To make up some numbers, suppose that each of your normal working days, you are able to save enough for one day of future FIRE expenses. You need 365 days x 25 years saved to FIRE.

Suppose that each four hours of overtime pays enough that you can save another day so working an extra 20 hours a week will essential double your savings rate. Continuing the example, working 80 hours/week would triple your savings rate. Working an extra 10 hours a week would increase your savings rate 50%. Etc etc.

I would sit down with my real numbers and figure out how much the overtime would accelerate your FIRE at different rates. Then weigh that benefit compared to the physical and mental downsides of working more.

mm1970

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2019, 02:20:05 PM »
It's rare for me to work any overtime, but I wouldn't get paid anyway.  Spouse works some, he gets paid straight time.  When traveling it can be a lot.

When I was younger, 45-50-60 hour were routine.  I had a stretch of 12-13 hour night shifts, once 7 days straight.  It was no fun at all to try and sleep during the daytime.

I've got kids and I'm old (ha, pushing 50).  It's not worth it anymore.  I need sleep, my kids need their parents.  When you add up the amount that I sleep, time spent with kids, cooking/ planning/ shopping for healthy food, time spent exercising - there's really not that much time for overtime.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2019, 04:22:55 AM »
I work overtime in spurts.

For me it's less about how much time I'm working and more about the structure of my time off.  I do better with long days but still having at least 1 day off a week than if it's evenly distributed.  At a certain point the OT becomes "blood money,"  money I really don't need and all I want to do is go outside and putter around in my garden for a day.  But I think that line is individual and often varies depending on what is going on in ones life that day/week/month.

Gone Fishing

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2019, 09:13:20 AM »
Early in my career, I'd often turn in time sheets (yes, paper) with 37-39 hours on them despite having a full time position.  We were done for the day, so I went home.  Maybe the opportunity for 1.5x would have tempted me, but even then, there were 100 things I'd rather be doing other than working.  After that, I was salaried and made sure I didn't work over 40. 

If you are one of those that work 50+, I'd HIGHLY recommend tapering off several years before you retire. One doesn't learn to fill their non working hours over night.  Killing yourself to get to FIRE is also not worth it.

Prairie Stash

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2019, 04:24:19 PM »
Early career I averaged 385 hours of OT/ year (lasted about 8 years).  Some weeks I got 40total, some weeks 60+. Now that I have kids, 100 hours of OT a year seems like a drag, my life changed.

I banked it all into early retirement. Every one of those hours got paid out and invested. When I hit FIRE I will tally up my total amount of hours worked over my career (within a small margin of error). That extra OT early on paid off huge later, so I'm glad I did it back then but I wouldn't go through it now.

Jesstache

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2019, 05:37:51 PM »
I worked 60+ hour weeks the first 7 years of my career and got paid time and a half for all OT.  I'd say 55 hours is the sweet spot where you're earning a super saweeet amount of extra $ but you can do it in 5 days (11 hour days), usually 6 or 7 am to 5:30 or 6:30 pm and still have weekends.  My husband and I met at work, and then worked together throughout so we carpooled, ate lunch together every day and sat a few desks from each other.  This 100% changed when we had our first kid though.  We both worked one more year at the standard 40 hours/week and then we basically gave up our huge paydays for living where we wanted to with one parent working 40 hour weeks and one SAHM.  HUGE pay cut, HUGE quality of life increase, right when it mattered most.  If they had insisted I work OT during that one year after our first kiddo was born I would have just quit, we had lots of FU money at that point (still do).   

farmGirl14

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2019, 09:50:26 AM »
My husband was hired for a 8hr/5day a week job. Ha. He almost always works every Saturday and most Sunday's too. The company runs way understaffed all the time. 

Not only that but he is working night shift, and many of the shifts are actually 12 hours. He has only been at this job since September and can count on one hand the number of Sundays he has had off. He HATES it. He has worked a month with only one day off.

Neither of us feel money is more important than family, fun, or relaxing. We would prefer enough money to be comfortable with the least amount of work as possible. We don't need to slave to have extra.

I think he would be okay with working every other or every third weekend. But working 7 days a week non-stop is ridiculous.

He was off work for a month because he had emergency surgery and just went back this week. He is already feeling burnt out. It makes him tired and grumpy. He isn't able to help around the house, no energy/time for a social life, and our relationship really takes a hit.

Can't wait until he gets on day shift. Which he just accepted a day shift position, but he has to train someone for his spot (10 weeks) plus they are firing another guy today so they will have to train the new person there as well (10 weeks). So it is probably going to be another 5 months before he gets moved to days. Sheesh. I will never understand why companies work their workers to death.

I don't believe that much overtime is healthy for anyone. I think around 10-15 hours of overtime a week for any length of time is about the max that you can do without getting burnt out or slacking on your relationships or other parts of life. IMO.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 09:54:14 AM by farmGirl14 »

Linea_Norway

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2019, 12:55:52 AM »
My husband was hired for a 8hr/5day a week job. Ha. He almost always works every Saturday and most Sunday's too. The company runs way understaffed all the time. 

Not only that but he is working night shift, and many of the shifts are actually 12 hours. He has only been at this job since September and can count on one hand the number of Sundays he has had off. He HATES it. He has worked a month with only one day off.

Neither of us feel money is more important than family, fun, or relaxing. We would prefer enough money to be comfortable with the least amount of work as possible. We don't need to slave to have extra.

I think he would be okay with working every other or every third weekend. But working 7 days a week non-stop is ridiculous.

He was off work for a month because he had emergency surgery and just went back this week. He is already feeling burnt out. It makes him tired and grumpy. He isn't able to help around the house, no energy/time for a social life, and our relationship really takes a hit.

Can't wait until he gets on day shift. Which he just accepted a day shift position, but he has to train someone for his spot (10 weeks) plus they are firing another guy today so they will have to train the new person there as well (10 weeks). So it is probably going to be another 5 months before he gets moved to days. Sheesh. I will never understand why companies work their workers to death.

I don't believe that much overtime is healthy for anyone. I think around 10-15 hours of overtime a week for any length of time is about the max that you can do without getting burnt out or slacking on your relationships or other parts of life. IMO.

Doesn't your company have rules for this? In Norway it is illegal to let your employees work so much. The rules are quite detailed. Of course, the rules are broken from time to time, but often in the more shady branches, like with foreign construction workers.

You husband should switch jobs as soon as possible. This job is not worth his health.

nereo

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2019, 05:17:50 AM »
I voted but then realized I might be interpreting the poll wrong.  It says:
"How many hours per week would you work being paid overtime (1.5x) for any hours over 40?

Does that mean that a response of 50-60 hours means you would work 90-100 hours total (50-60 over the 40 regular-time hours)?

Regardless, I work in a field where we are occasionally sent to remote locations to conduct research.  During those trips we work every day, often for 12+ hours a day, because the cost and complexity of working there is substantial.  So I've clocked quite a few weeks of 80+ hours, with a max of 106 for one particularly brutal week. Ironically on most of these trips we were not eligible for any overtime pay as we're on fixed salaries, though when I was able to earn OT pay it was pretty awesome. Generally these excursions are limited to 3-6 week periods; I would not want take on this workload continuously.


Sugaree

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2019, 08:02:24 AM »
I'm currently averaging 47 hours a week give or take (43 one week and 51 the next).  It's not bad, but I also don't make full 1.5x as an FLSA exempt employee.

brute

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Re: For those that get paid overtime - how much is too much?
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2019, 08:11:27 AM »
I've done 100-110 hour weeks for 6 months straight before. Never again.

60 hours a week? As long as I'm getting paid, and never for more than 6 months. Also, if they expect me to work during a blackout date (wife's birthday, our anniversary), they can pound radioactive sand. Of course, those dates are something I set up when I first started, so it isn't a surprise when they roll around. However, 1.5x base for an extra 20 hours a week, that adds up fast for the retirement fund.