I've worked as both a salaried employee as well as an hourly employee, and occasionally a contract employee.
It has been my experience throughout the years, that as a salaried employee I was often taken advantage of during times when I really would have gladly taken overtime pay as compensation instead of working for "free".
It has been my experience that when you are hired to be a salary employee for "flexible" hours, employers are always interested in you being flexible for them (lots of extra hours for no reimbursement) but not particularly interested when it's time for them to be flexible for you.
To add insult to injury, jobs that often pay less than a living wage are also the jobs where you are expected to work additional hours as a salaried employee. I once had a job where I was making $8/hr (which required a college degree, by the way). However, I usually worked 50-60 hours each week, and was never paid overtime.
I've got to say, it would have made me feel more appreciated as an employee to actually get paid for all the hours I was working — the "status" of being a salaried employee doesn't pay the bills!
People deserve to be treated as if they matter, and you show people that work for you how much they matter with financial reimbursement. When people feel good about their work, they are more productive members of society. It's that simple.
— Dawn Morgan, Longview