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Exempt salary mon-fri on call 24/7 forced to use vacation Minnesota Minnesota

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  • Exempt salary mon-fri on call 24/7 forced to use vacation Minnesota Minnesota

    I am a full time salary employee on call 24/7 non medical job. Regular hours are Monday through Friday 9 to 5. I get 1 scheduled weekend off a month. I'm planning a vacation in January which doesn't fall on my weekend off my employer won't let me switch weekends instead they are making me use 2 days of vacation on Saturday and Sunday. So that week I will work 3 days and use 4 days of vacation which is 56 hours. Is this legal? I am a human resource manager exempt employee.

  • #2
    I can give you half of an answer. The feds do not care about vacation even a little bit. There is no problem with what you describe on the federal law side of things. If you are paid your salary, and all salary docked complies with 29 CFR 541.602. The feds literally do not care what happens with your vacation. Not their issue.

    I do not know enough about MN law to give a hard answer there. I suspect this is legal there too but I cannot say that for certain.

    Not your question, but your employer is pond scum. This is a nasty policy. Also if you are the HR manager, can you not just change the policy? Guess not. This is very extreme but if handled correctly, such a policy I suspect could be done legally in most/all states. Not saying it should be done, but this is not the sort of thing state law generally addresses.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      Thank you for your response.
      Yes they do a lot of things I do not agree with. I would love to change policies but of course it has to go through them first.
      They expect us to be on call for them 24/7 and I guess in return we get **** on.
      truly unfair.
      So I guess I clock in for my 56 hrs that week when I'm salaried at 40 mon through fri. Truly doesn't make sense.


      • #4
        It makes sense. It is just not fair.

        "Exempt" is a function of a federal law called FLSA. That word just means exempt from the normal requirements of minimum wage, paid overtime or (in your case) both. Assuming that you are Exempt under FLSA (generally Executive or Administrative exceptions) and subject to the Salaried Basis requirement (29 CFR 541.602). Hours worked is pretty meaningless for employees who are legally Exempt and Salaried. The problem is that vacation is not a FLSA concept, and because the FLSA does not mention vacation (or generally paid time off) the feds do not care about things that the law does not give them authority over. Which makes perfect sense.

        Some states have vacation law and some states do not. The problem is that even the states that do care about vacation/PTO generally only care about it in a limited way. Generally whether or not vacation is vested, whether or not there "use it or lose it" is allowed, whether or not it is required to buy out vacation balances on termination and whether or not the state has a "follow your policy" rule. But I have never heard of a state that cares about your specific issue.

        Worse, before FLSA and all state statutory law there was (and still is) something called Common Law. Basically thousand years and more of British/American court decisions. There are a lot of common law principals that still effect employment law, such as Employment At Will, otherwise known as the "my way or the highway" rule. Things such as making you be on call for weekends and not allowing you to change your schedules weekends are legal because common law says they are legal and because federal/state never passed statutory law taking that authority away from the employer. Generally speaking pretty much any employer can make pretty much any employee work pretty much whatever hours the employer says. Again, common law.

        So the problem is not that it makes sense. This all makes perfect sense. The problem is that your employer is pond scum.
        Last edited by DAW; 12-12-2012, 09:41 AM.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


        • #5
          FYI, if you are an exempt employee you are not salaried for 40 hours, you are salaried. 40 hours a week has no legal meaning for an exempt employee. Your salary covers all hours worked regardless of how many or how few.

          I do not disagree with DAW's assessment; just making a point.
          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.


          • #6
            I agree with cbg.

            Further, if you are a HR Mgr then you should understand how exempt versus non-exempt work. I suggest you invest in some training or look at on-line resources to expand your knowledge.


            • #7
              Good point. Under federal law (FLSA) all employees are subject to federal overtime and minimum wages rules unless a specific FLSA exception can be found. There are something like a 100 or Exempt exceptions in the FLSA, but most of these are industry specific. What most people mean when they say Exempt are the so-called White Collar exceptions, which are not industry specific but do look at actual job duties. That is a good starting point.

              States can have their own statutory labor laws but these are in addition to, not instead of, FLSA. States can never make FLSA requirements go away. They can at most add some additional requirements of their own.

              In your specific case your title with the word "manager" in it does not make you exempt. Your specific job duties however likely will. In your specific case, look at the Executive and Administrative exceptions. The employer always get to choose which exception (if any) they wish to claim, and if the Executive exceptions works, it is an easier exception to support then Administrative. But as HR Manager, as suggested, you should really know this stuff.
              Last edited by DAW; 12-12-2012, 09:47 AM.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)