Kevin Koch explains the reality and dynamics of the 45 hour workweek (I've excised it from "comments" down below.) ...
Commenter: The 45 hour week (40 hours of straight time and 5 hours of "guaranteed overtime") doesn't mean you have to work 45 hours to get full pay. It only means that in an overtime situation, you have to work 45 hours of straight time before you start earning time and a half.
President Koch: This is incorrect. The 45 hour work week means you are working 40 straight-time hours and 5 hours of guaranteed overtime. This is the baseline.
...and I may be wrong but that is only in effect during a 5 day week.
This part is correct. You work your 45 hours M-F, and if you need to come in Saturday, those OT hours are on top of the 45.
It basically saves the studio a few bucks because they ALWAYS get themselves into an overtime situation but that's usually during the last few months of production.
More than that, it gets them 5 extra hours of work each week BEFORE that OT situation hits.
...oh, and what it ultimately is designed to do is reduce your hourly rate which means that, again, in an overtime situation, they actually pay you time and a half based upon that reduced rate. For example: if you make $2000 per week on a "45 hour week", your rate is not $50 per hour, it's actually $44 per hour.
Nope. The situation is worse than you've calculated. That $2000/week is now divided by 40 straight-time hours, and 5 OT hours, equivalent to a total of 47.5 straight-time hours. So the hourly rate drops from $50/hour to $42.10/hour. Your additional overtime hours are now worth $63.16.
(The thing about 45 or 50-hour work weeks -- as it's been explained to me by people with law degrees -- is that Federal regulations require that the "45 hours with 5 hours of pre-paid overtime" be worked most of the time. Otherwise, individuals who mostly work 40 hours of their stipulated 45-hour week are actually earning their salaries on a 40 hour week, and their weekly $2000 would then be divided by 40 hours, not 47.5.
This is why Disney requires the 45-hours to be worked each week. (A "hard" 45-hour work week vs. a "soft" 45-hour work week.) Otherwise, the company collides with Federal regulations.
-- Steve Hulett)