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exempt time off in CA California

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  • exempt time off in CA California

    We're trying to figure out what's legally allowed and not allowed re exempt employees and time off.

    I know that in general, we're supposed to pay an exempt employee a full week's salary if they work any portion of that week. Our main confusion is with possible deductions.

    If an exempt employee takes a partial or full day off, can we make them use sick time and/or vacation time? And then if they have no more sick/vacation time left, are we allowed to deduct for that portion of the day or the full day?

    And this is probably a gray area, but what if an employee "declares" that they're going to take a person day off, so we play to deduct for that day, but then they claim that they should actually be paid because they answered a few emails?

    For the deductions that we *are* allowed to make, what sort of documentation should we have to document it? e.g. can/should we have the employee fill out an absence form or something like that?

  • #2
    The actual rules are federal FLSA regulation 29 CFR 541.602. Basically you can dock for entire days voluntarily not worked or entire workweeks involuntarily not worked.

    The fed do not care even a little bit about vacation/PTO. CA does care. Just reduce the balance by time missed.

    The feds care a little about sick pay. You have to have a "bona fide" sick pay plan. Basically 5 days is year, which could be PTO.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Thanks DAW!

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      • #4
        If an exempt employee takes a partial or full day off, can we make them use sick time and/or vacation time? Yes.

        And then if they have no more sick/vacation time left, are we allowed to deduct for that portion of the day or the full day? For partial days, he must still be paid for the full day unless FMLA applies. You may deduct for full days in most cases.

        And this is probably a gray area, but what if an employee "declares" that they're going to take a person day off, so we play to deduct for that day, but then they claim that they should actually be paid because they answered a few emails? How much time did they spend answering the emails?

        For the deductions that we *are* allowed to make, what sort of documentation should we have to document it? e.g. can/should we have the employee fill out an absence form or something like that? You CAN. Whether you SHOULD depends on your corporate culture.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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        • #5
          Federal DOL will support De Minimus with things like email. Meaning you look at how often or how much time is being spent on email or other work related stuff. HOWEVER if you are paying the whole day PTO/vacation, then it just became a "who cares". There is no such thing as vacation/PTO as far as the feds are concerned. The real key is CA rules for vacation. If the employee works one hour, have them claim the hour on the time sheet and pay them one hour worked and seven hours vacation/PTO.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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          • #6
            (and tell them to quit working on their "days off". Yes, you're allowed to do that.)
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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