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Going from an hourly position to a salaried one often comes with a big pay raise. But there are some things to think about before celebrating.

If the Fair Labor Standards Act covers the job, it’s either exempt or nonexempt. Nonexempt workers get overtime wages for working more than 40 hours in a week.

However, an employer doesn’t owe overtime to an exempt employee no matter how many hours she works. In general, exempt employees must earn at least $455 per week on a salary basis and perform exempt duties, such as managerial tasks.

In addition to receiving overtime, hourly employees find it easier to separate home and work, enabling them to devote free time to family and hobbies.

But hourly employees’ hours are reduced when their company struggles. The Affordable Care Act requires businesses with 50 or more employees to provide health care to workers who log 30 or more hours a week. Businesses can cut hours to avoid the mandate.

Salaries provide consistent paychecks and more security. It’s easier to cut hours than renegotiate a salary. Full-time employment also comes with benefits, like retirement contributions and paid vacation.

But salaried employees work longer hours with no overtime, and may struggle to separate work from personal life. An hourly position is often better for someone who values leaving work at work.

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