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Forced to alter timesheet Washington

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  • Forced to alter timesheet Washington

    I work for a small corporation. Just the owner, myself and a couple of other employees. I am salary exempt. I do all the customer service, bookkeeping, scheduling, reception, etc. I guess from the guidlines I am considered admin. I am next in command under the owner. I can accept being salary exempt but here is my question. I work on average 10 hour days. occasionally i leave early for dr appointments, etc. I get sick leave, vacation, etc. My employer does not want me to mark my timesheet with actual hours worked. He wants 8 hours marked each day and if i have a dr appointment he wants me to take the whole day off and use sick leave. First off, if I am hourly exempt and paid a salary why should I alter the actual time I work? I keep very accurate records mostly for my protection and for L&I reporting. I give alot to this company but feel like now the owner is being sneaky. We aren't eligible for FMLA as we only have 5 employees.
    A couple of years ago he made me salary exempt as he was talking to an hr person from another company that is a friend and because I can use my own judgement in company decisions (even though he can override) I qualified for exempt status. I feel as if I am being taken advantage. Due to our size, I am HR, Payroll, etc. Any help on the legality of forcing me to enter incorrect information on my timesheet would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by gabbygirl View Post
    I am hourly exempt and paid a salary
    You can be paid hourly and be exempt, but those jobs are rare. Doctors, lawyers and some IT folks may qualify.

    You might be exempt under one of the federal laws, but your salary would have to be at least $455 per week (more in at least two states) and your duties would have to allow to to be classified as exempt.

    Assuming you are exempt, the employer must pay you for partial days worked (some FMLA exceptions apply), but the employer may also tag you paid time off bank (PTO -- vacation, holiday, sick, etc.) for your time away from work.
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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    • #3
      If you are legally exempt, then it is likely under the Adminstrative exception. I am going to include a webpointer to those rules. Job titles do not really mean anything. This exceptions are mostly determined by actually duties performed.
      http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/complian...nistrative.htm

      This is the only legally important issue that you raised. If you are Exempt Salaried, then your employer needs to follow those rules. If you are Non-Exempt, then your employer needs to follow the Non-Exempt rules. Everything else is derivative of that status.

      -----

      If you are really Exempt under the Administrative exception, then as stated by Scott, you must be paid a salary of at least $455/week and that salary is subject to some docking restrictions. But you are never owed paid overtime if you are Exempt Salaried.
      http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...CFR541.602.htm

      The time sheet issues you raise per se are not legally a big deal. The employer is arguably not very bright telling the employee to lie on the timesheet. That does not go over real well in court. But if you are legally Exempt, then you are not being paid based on actual hours worked anyhow (not if you are Salaried), and if you are legally Non-Exempt, then the employer has gone out of their way to lose their side of the case. [You really should thank them for that - flowers are nice]. Just keep track of your actual hours worked at home and thank Santa Claus for giving you a really dumb employer to file your wage claim against.

      The government does not care about time sheets per se, and to the extent they do, it is the employer's problem, not the employees. The government cares that the employee is paid correctly, and having the employer getting caught lying about time sheets hurts the empoyer, not the employee.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DAW View Post
        If you are legally exempt, then it is likely under the Adminstrative exception. I am going to include a webpointer to those rules. Job titles do not really mean anything. This exceptions are mostly determined by actually duties performed.
        http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/complian...nistrative.htm

        This is the only legally important issue that you raised. If you are Exempt Salaried, then your employer needs to follow those rules. If you are Non-Exempt, then your employer needs to follow the Non-Exempt rules. Everything else is derivative of that status.

        -----

        If you are really Exempt under the Administrative exception, then as stated by Scott, you must be paid a salary of at least $455/week and that salary is subject to some docking restrictions. But you are never owed paid overtime if you are Exempt Salaried.
        http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...CFR541.602.htm

        The time sheet issues you raise per se are not legally a big deal. The employer is arguably not very bright telling the employee to lie on the timesheet. That does not go over real well in court. But if you are legally Exempt, then you are not being paid based on actual hours worked anyhow (not if you are Salaried), and if you are legally Non-Exempt, then the employer has gone out of their way to lose their side of the case. [You really should thank them for that - flowers are nice]. Just keep track of your actual hours worked at home and thank Santa Claus for giving you a really dumb employer to file your wage claim against.

        The government does not care about time sheets per se, and to the extent they do, it is the employer's problem, not the employees. The government cares that the employee is paid correctly, and having the employer getting caught lying about time sheets hurts the empoyer, not the employee.
        Thank you for the reply. I do meet the quidelines for exempt as administrative. I do receive more then $455 per week in salary although we are paid on a monthly basis. I don't know if that changes anything as the regs all discuss being paid weekly or less. I did not see in any response an answer about being forced to take an entire day off for a dr appointment and using a sick day when all I really need is a hour or so. Can he force me to do that? We do have sick leave but I currently am out as I was very ill a while ago. Can you force me to use vacation time instead of sick leave? I just think this is very unfair as I work almost 50 hours a week all the time, not just occasionly for a specific project. My work load has increase trifold in the past few years with no help.

        Please respond to the questions in this reply. Thanks.

        Comment


        • #5
          "Exempt" and "Salaried" are federal law concepts (FLSA). Federal DOL has very hard rules managing how Exempt Salaried employees are paid. The docking rules are included below.

          However, the handling of paid time off balances (vacation, sick, whatever) is not a federal law concept. Federal DOL literally does not care what happens to your benefit hour balances as long as the correct wages are actually paid.

          State law in theory could care about your benefit hour balance. Your state is not my state however, and I have no idea what rules WA has (if any) on sick pay balances.

          http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...CFR541.602.htm
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

          Comment


          • #6
            Forced to alter timesheet

            No one answered my question about being forced to take an entire day off for a Dr. appt so the employer can dock my sick leave. For some reason he has a problem with paying me 6 hours salary and 2 sick leave which from what I can find is not threatening my Exempt status. I just need some answer as to the legality of being required to take the entire day up forcing me to use sick leave when it isn't necessary.

            If anyone know from Washington law standpoint on this and the question regarding being force to change my timesheet in my original post could respond I would greatly appreciate it.

            Comment


            • #7
              There is no law in any state that I know of that prohibits him from doing so, unless FMLA is involved. I'm not crazy about such a policy either but that doesn't make it illegal.
              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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              • #8
                Vacation benefits changing

                When I was hired, our benefit manual had 1 week vacation after the 1st year, 2 weeks after 2nd, 3 weeks after 5years and 4 weeks after 10. The following year they changed it to 5 days after 1 year, 7 days after 2 years, 8 days after 3 years and so on. I complained that I was not hired with that and they grandfathered me in. I have been here 7 years so the past 2 years I have gotten 3 weeks vacation. Now the owner has changed to 0 the 1st year, 5 days after 2 years, & so on. Isn't there something in Washington that requires at least 1 week after the 1st year? Also, can they take away what you have already earned? Lastly, they are saying I don't have that much accrued but I have no way to prove they are wrong. They shorted my paycheck (just after 1 took a week off) saying I didn't have the time coming and then gave me a piece of paper showing these new benefits. No date on the paper and they are saying this has been all along. I know that isn't true as I have an old employee handbook. Are they required to show on paychecks what you have accrued for vacation and sick leave and used? My paychecks only show Fed. withhold, medicare, etc. Not evey any year to date stuff. HELP!

                Comment


                • #9
                  There is nothing in any state that requires an employer to provide any specific amount of vacation, or vacation at all.
                  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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