Why do they call entry-level office workers “executives”?

“Your title says executive. Executives can’t claim OT”

At some point in our history, employers decided that it would be great to change the title of some of the lowest-end office workers to “executive”. Perhaps this was based on the utterly false assumption that they could be made to work overtime with no pay, as “Professionals, Managers and Executives” are not protected by Part IV of the Employment Act, which governs overtime pay, among other things.

One thing that may come as a surprise to many of us is that it is not binding to stipulate more than 44 base work hours a week for office workers earning under $2,000 ($2,500 in April). OT pay is 1.5x your hourly rate, and you can figure it all out with MOM’s calculator here.

You see a REAL PME is defined by the Employment Act as someone with “the authority to influence or make decision on issues such as recruitment, discipline, termination of employment, assessment of performance and reward, or involvement in the formulation of strategies and policies of the enterprise, or the management and running of the business”.

That’s not most of us entry-level folks.

I think it’s best if we kill this myth now and set the record straight.


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