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Well, I have an American way of looking at things. Why is 40 hours the magical number? Why is it that you're working for free after that point? He was correct in the first place that it's devaluing your hourly worth (assuming time is fungible). But guess what, if you can't get the job done that the employer wants to pay you the given salary for in the 40 hours you expected to satisfy him with, and the employer would let you go if you told him that this wasn't what you signed up for, you are devalued. The employer hired you for a certain amount of work and was willing to pay a certain amount of money for it. If you made an agreement about the work to be accomplished, and did not make an agreement about hours, and you end up working 80 hours a week, you are being paid overtime. Your base salary is just much lower because you're not worth very much to that particular employer at the base salary.

Now, if the employer would not fire you if you put your foot down, it's a matter of knowing your true worth. And I definitely agree it's worth doing this if you end up in this sort of situation. Either you part ways from a job that isn't worth it to you, or you get the conditions that are worth it to you. Negotiations have some leeway, you don't really know what the other person is willing to give up.

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