What's the deal with jobs that "May require more than 40.0 hours per week to perform essential duties"?

Hope you're all safe and well. I'm helping a friend with job hunting and have now come across several postings in a row with a qualification of "May require more than 40.0 hours per week to perform the essential duties of the position." My gut reaction to this was "erm, no thanks', but is this just a sign of a company being up front about their expectations?
Yikes - is this a prevalent descriptor that you've been seeing in job postings? Also what role is your friend looking for? Curious because I suppose, in my mind, that is a red flag if stated explicitly for tech companies but (sadly) an industry norm for folks who run back of house at restaurants.
I'm looking for data engineering positions, managers and above. I've looked at 10 postings so far and seen it twice.
If I can jump in quickly: I suspect it is overtime work like if there are some bugs and unexpected issues/emergencies, the person would be expected to be ready to solve those? I'd expect them to be a bit more upfront about it though.
Following on @teresaman 's question! Personally the times I've seen those requirements, it would be to work over the weekend or late night to run events and things like that.If it's a role your friend is interested in/curious about, I would be open-mind and I'd still go ahead, apply and ask the question when comes the interview and/or if there is an opportunity to connect with someone at the company beforehand for an informational interview.
Much appreciated, thanks @iynna !
Of course! Keep us posted on how the search turns out and best of luck to your friend!
Interesting, I’ve actually never seen that on a job posting but always assume it. At least from previous experience I often had to work over 40, I mean, someone has to get things done 🤷🏻‍♀️
Same here, and for the friend I'm helping. Thought it was so odd right there in the posting.
I hope you are not doing it for free
No way :)
When you’re salary it’s kind of expected, especially if there’s no timesheets. Not sure about the laws on every state, but when I worked in FL without a timesheet as a salary employee, sometimes I even had to log on from another country while on holiday to get stuff done, and there was no OT.
At nearly every salaried job I've held, there have been occasional weeks where I've worked more than 40 hours; whether for an event, a new product release, announcement, or something else. I expect this falls under that component, and frankly, is the expectation if you are not hourly. If your friend goes through the interview and higher hours is frequent, then I'd expect compensation would be commensurate. Similar to law, finance, etc.
Fair enough, I'll keep the compensation in mind. That's the issue with the current job - way, way too many hours with not nearly enough compensation, and no chance of moving up.
Exactly, when you’re not hourly it can happen, but that’s where you also set your value if you’re willing to work those extra hours. I have been in a position where I told myself “I don’t get paid enough to deal with all these extra hours” and changed jobs. I don’t have anything against working extra hours as long as I get compensated accordingly, and well, these days I do what I can to avoid those extra hours
Yes! This.
It depends on the job, but for sales this is incredibly common. A lot of times the salesperson has to fly or drive, answer emails on the weekends/evenings and phone calls. Some jobs are like that where you're always "on". However, comp/commission is quite high due to the expectations of the job. This is a sign of a company being up front about their expectations - at the startup I work at, we all work 60+ hours a week or more and are compensated well. I feel as though I have great work life balance, but those hours aren't for everyone. Ask your friend to follow up with the recruiter and ask about overtime and average hours other people put in into that role.
Will do, thanks so much!
I don't think I've ever worked a job where working extra hours was not expected at least every once in a while, especially if you're salaried.
Fair enough, that's always been the case for me too.
I mean obviously as others have said, you should be getting compensated for some ways maybe it's a good thing they're putting that expectation out there so it's not a surprise or unexpected?
This is setting expectations and may be communicating in advance regarding lack of overtime pay for such work - which would not be that unusual for managerial roles.
I don't recall seeing this during my last job search (last year), but I would definitely ask for clarification during interviews to understand the type of work and frequency - is it occasional big releases or fixing bugs, or after-hours events, or is there seasonality to the business that means longer hours during certain times of the year? I would also try to politely ask if this would be considered comp time, and you could take a day off later without using PTO or something. Or does the seasonality balance out with summer hours or the office closes for the week between Christmas and New Years.