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Official office closure, forced use of PTO Washington

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  • Official office closure, forced use of PTO Washington

    Is it legal for an employer to close an office due to inclement weather, but require one group of non-exempt employees to use PTO to cover that absence?

    This isn't the only non-exempt group in the office, however it's the only one required to use PTO to cover this particular type of absence.

  • #2
    Yes, that is legal in every state. As long as the group of employees required to use PTO is not protected by law.

    Legal: Non-exempt employees in the Accounting department must use PTO; non-exempt employees in all other departments need not.

    Not legal: All Jewish non-exempt employees must use PTO; non-exempt employees of other faiths need not.
    Last edited by cbg; 11-23-2010, 01:38 PM.
    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
      Agreed, although there is a possibility that an actions directed at legal groups of people, could still have a "disparate impact". For example, lets say by some coincidence, that all of the non-exempt accounting types not only happen to be Jewish, but they are also they only Jewish people in the company. So if we have a "Jewish" specific policy we are explicitly illegal, but if we instead have a policy that by some strange circumstance has a disparate impact only on Jewish employees, we are not explicitly illegal, but we may be implicitly illegal.

      Confused yet? I agree with everything CBG said, but I will say that it is safer to have an actual valid business reason for actions. Not because the law requires it, but because someone might make a claim ascribing different motivations to the employer. Whenever employer policies have a disparate impact on employees with Title VII or other protections, the employees can claim that the technical legal policy was simply a cover for an explictly illegal action.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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