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PTO for Exempt Employees in Virginia

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  • PTO for Exempt Employees in Virginia

    I am not too sure what the laws allow in VA for employers filling in timesheets with PTO without notice for exempt employees... Here is a scenario:

    Normal work week = M - F

    Exempt employee works Saturday thru Wednesday and has planned vacation Thursday and Friday. The exempt employee fills in enough vacation time for Thursday and Friday that puts the total hours for the week at 40 (this is less than 8 hours per vacation day, since employee worked on the weekend). The employer changes the vacation time to 8 hours per day, causing total hours to exceed 45 for the week.

    Is this legal? I can understand the employer substituting PTO for anything less than 40 a week. Since working on Saturday and Sunday, this should have made up for the missed hours on Thursday and Friday and reduced the number of PTO required. Please advise.

  • #2
    For an exempt employee, the specific number of hours worked is irrelevant. Nothing in the law says that the hours can only add up to 40. You are not being paid for 40 hours in the week; your salary covers all time worked no matter how many or how few.

    If the employee takes two full days of vacation, they should expect to have two full days worth of vacation pay deducted. What you describe is not only legal, but commonplace. I have never worked anywhere that would have done anything different.
    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
      Thank you for the quick reply. I do have one more question for you.

      I was told about a year ago that the state of VA passed a law stating all exempt employees are required to receive credit for a full day of work, even if he/she shows up for a short amount of time (15min, etc.) and that the employer can not substitute PTO for workdays when the employee is present for any amount of time. I looked everywhere online to find out if this is true and have been unsuccessful. Does this sound right to you?

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      • #4
        No, it doesn't.

        While Federal law does say that exempt employees have to be paid for the entire day if they work any part of the day, no state (with the possible exception of California - there are two different interpretations of the CA law) prohibits an employer from requiring the use of vacation, sick, personal or other paid leaves when an exempt employee misses a partial day.

        The fact that you can't find anything to confirm the existance of such a law would seem to imply that no such law exists. Which it doesn't. Sorry.
        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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        • #5
          It's federal law that says an exempt employee must be PAID for any day in which he performs any work (except if using intermittent FMLA). It doesn't say, however, that if an exempt employee takes a partial day of vacation that the company cannot charge his vacation bank for the time. It's just that, if the employee is out of PTO time, he still must be paid. Virginia has no laws that supercede this federal requirement.
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