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Exempt employee treated as non-Exempt Pennsylvania

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  • Exempt employee treated as non-Exempt Pennsylvania

    I am told I am classified as an exempt employee. I clearly pass the tests for Exempt status in pay and duties as a professional computer programmer.

    The problem is I am treated as an hourly employee (non-exempt) during regular work days and as a salaried employee (exempt) during 40+ hours work week. In other words, I do not get paid for overtime worked, yet I must put in leave for sick and personal time off during a day or the week.

    My understanding of PA labor laws is that if I work 1 hour or 85 hours during a week, they must pay me my normal salary for the week and not require me to put in leave time.

    Can anyone help me understand if I am being treated correctly in accordance with PA law?

  • #2
    In no state is an exempt employee excused by law from having to submit personal or sick time (or vacation time, for that matter) if it is company policy to do so.

    Based on what you have posted, I am not seeing any violations of state or Federal laws. Your understanding of PA law is incorrect.
    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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    • #3
      If you are exempt, you only need to be paid your normal weekly salary no matter how many hours you work in the work week. They can use PTO (ie vac./sick time/personal time) to pay your wages when you take leave/time off. You can be required to submit leave for personal time/sick time/vacation if your employer requires you to do so.

      Your employer is not doing anything wrong based on what you posted.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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      • #4
        Federal law does not care what bucket the pay comes out of; all they care is that the dollars in your paycheck are the same. In fact Federal law has made it very clear that any issues to do with vacation, sick, personal or other paid time off is a matter between the employer and the employee and has nothing to do with them. While a state law might care more, of the 50 states only CA cares at all, and CA doesn't care very much. Neither Federal nor state law would consider the requirement that you use any form of paid time off to be "treating you as non-exempt". It is a perfectly natural process.
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          The bottom line is your employer is not doing anything illegal. I know that isn't the answer you were looking for/hoping for.
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for your replies. Now, when I run out of leave, I am required to take time off without pay. I do not get paid for those hours. Is it still in compliance?

            Comment


            • #7
              Agreed with the other answers. Ignore paid time off (vacation, sick, whatever) because the feds most certainly do not care, and PA does not care. What is left is time actually worked. Are you being paid less then your salary? Not legally impossible, but taking an employee who is legally Exempt under the Computer Professional exception and whom is being paid on a Salary Basis, means that the 29 CFR 541.602 Salaried Basis regulation would be in effect, and the related docking rules would be in affect. That does not mean no docking ever, but it would put severe restrictions on docking.

              Not your question, but technically an Exempt employee under the Computer Professional exception can be paid on a Hourly Basis.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

              Comment


              • #8
                That depends.

                An exempt employee can be required to take time off without pay under the following, and only the following, conditions:

                1.) It is the first or last week of employment and you did not work the entire week
                2.) The time off is attributable to FMLA
                3.) The employer offers a reasonable number of paid sick days and you have either used all the time you have available to you or you are not yet eligible for any
                4.) You are taking time off voluntarily for personal reasons
                5.) You have been suspended for a major safety violation
                6.) You have been suspended for the violation of a written company policy that applies to all employees and relates to workplace conduct (drugs/alcohol in the workplace, sexual harassment, workplace violence etc.)

                The first two can be in either hourly or daily increments; the last four in daily increments only.

                So if you are out of PTO and you call in sick, that can be without pay. If you take a vacation day and you are out of PTO, that can be without pay. If you go home early so you can attend your kid's soccer game, even if you are out of PTO that has to be paid. If you have a flat tire, have to call AAA, they don't get there for two hours and you don't get into work till mid-morning, even if you are out of PTO that has to be paid.

                Just FYI, don't get the idea that means you can come in, work for 20 minutes, go home and get paid for the day with impunity. That might work once or twice but it would not be in violation of any law for your employer to write you up or even fire you for that kind of shenanigan.
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Your post is a bit unclear as to if you are taking leave or you are being docked on days there is no work and you are told not to report ..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Either way, cbg laid out the circumstances under which exempt employees may be docked pay. Surely the OP can determine if any of those apply.
                    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Clearly CBG laid out the points well...but I don't think its intuitive that every worker sort out the difference between leave he takes vs being told not to report on days with limited work IF that is what is taking place. Generally if you are exempt but there is no work for a particular day you get paid anyway?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Okay, since Raster is confused and needs it spelled out in full:

                        OP, if your employer tells you not to come into work, unless it is because your employment has terminated or your start date is still in future (#1 above) or you are being suspended for one of the reasons listed in #s 5 & 6, then you have to be paid for the time. It can be taken out of paid time off but it must be paid time even if you are out of PTO.

                        If YOU CHOOSE not to come into work, either because you are sick (#2 and #3) or because of a vacation or personal reason, then you need not be paid for the time, EVEN IF you have paid time available.

                        You MUST be paid for all partial day increments, be it with PTO or other, unless #1 or #2 applies.

                        That ought to be clear enough even for Raster.

                        And Raster, if you don't stop with the "but maybes" and the "well it's not clear ifs" that have no basis in the facts provided, I am going to remove your posting privileges. And I can do that here. I'm not going to warn you again; I don't care what they let you get away with at lawyers.com. I am NOT going to put up with it here.
                        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.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cbg View Post
                          Okay, since Raster is confused and needs it spelled out in full:
                          Raster seems generally to be the only one confused about posts. The OP didn't come back & say anything about being confused.

                          Raster, please quit "questioning" everything or your posting privileges will be removed as noted by cbg. I can also do it & cbg & I are not the only ones. (enough is enough)
                          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                          Comment

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