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Office shut down over the holidays Texas

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  • Office shut down over the holidays Texas

    In an effort to save money the company I work for has decided to shut down between 12/21 -12/25, however we have all been told that in order to get paid we must take vacation days. I am a salaried/exempt employee, is this legal? Shouldn't I get paid anyway?

    Thanks Grace

  • #2
    Probably legal. Salaried Exempt employees are paid under FLSA regulation 29 CFR 541.602 and that regulation allows for entire workweeks not worked (voluntarily or in-voluntarily) to be unpaid. Past that FLSA does not care about vacation even a little bit, so reducing vacation balances to cover time not worked is very legal under FLSA.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      It is legal if they shut down for a full week.

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      • #4
        Being exempt, the employer has to pay you in any week in which you work at all (excluding first/last or FMLA timeoff). But since it is a whole week off, he doesn't have to pay you unless you have saved PTO. That is assuming your defined workweek includes all 5 days that you have listed. If your workweek is weird (say Wed-Tues), then he might have a problem. It does state that he would need to have you sign a wage deduction authorization under TX state wage laws. Not sure what would happen if you refused, but to me, it would be a case of insubordination and an offense in which he could decide to terminate your employment.

        Here is direct language from the TWC:

        " If a salaried exempt employee misses an entire workweek for any reason, then the employer could deduct a week's worth of pay from the salary....The same rule applies for unpaid holidays, furloughs, business closures, bad-weather days, and other occasions when work is unavailable to salaried exempt employees who are otherwise available for work: if the office is closed on a day that a salaried exempt employee would normally work, then partial-week deductions from pay are not allowed, but if the employee misses an entire week for such a reason, the salary may be reduced by that amount...Despite the deductions from salary allowed under the FLSA on a partial-day, full-day, and weekly basis, as long as the interval of the pay period is longer than the time involved in the deduction, the employer would be facing a wage deduction situation that would be covered by the Texas Payday Law. Such a deduction would need to be authorized by the employee in writing in order to be valid under the TPL. For a sample wage deduction authorization form that addresses this issue, click here and see item # 12." http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/salary_test.html

        (to my fellow posters, the wage deducti9on authorization kind of surprised me and in 11+years in TX doing payroll/HR had never heard this one, but TWC has it listed)
        Last edited by hr for me; 10-23-2015, 12:36 PM.

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        • #5
          It is legal.

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