When do work requests become excessive for salaried employees?

 [KY] 4 months ago, I accepted a job with what seemed like a lower salary than it should be, but with a company whose reputation is strong. It required 70-80% travel, and heavy work during peak times but otherwise seemed like a fairly normal situation. I'm not afraid of hard work or long hours.

So far in 2022, I've been home for 7 days total, averaged 60 hours per week (with 2 weeks having 30 hours due to weather and other issues), and I'm now essentially doing the work of 2-3 people. I can expect to work 6 days per week for the next month, and 7 the following. If you were to calculate my hourly rate from my salary based on the hours I'm working, it has been cut to 60% of what it should be.

Peak will mean I can't be with my family for a major event. I'll likely be 100% travel for 4-6 weeks, and working 80+ hrs per week.

I'm being told that I need to request PTO for a Saturday (not a normal workday), but will otherwise not be able to use my PTO before losing it.

I am miserable. And I honestly believe going to HR will lead to retaliation, regardless of what any law or policy says. I have a strong reputation in my profession and have been brought in to analyze and then fix issues with several of my company's locations. Now, literally, everything I say is questioned or dismissed, even when it comes directly from the client paying our bills. I've somehow gone from the guy people rely on to being treated like an idiot who can't say or do anything right.

Other than walking, do I have any legitimate options to address my situation? I used to love this company. Now? I'd rather work the drive-thru at any fast food joint for half of what my current hourly rate is, and I'm pretty sure I'd make more than that.


Some employers see salaried positions as slave labor. This is why we are one of the only countries that allow them. Salaried positions are outlawed in almost all developed nations. If I were you I would switch jobs you will burn out with a schedule like that, then you will be in too bad of a shape to get another job for a long time.

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