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Exempt Employees Forced Time Off Texas

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  • Exempt Employees Forced Time Off Texas

    Sorry if this is a duplicate issue. Searched but couldn't find it listed.

    I work for a hospital and when the census is low, exempt staff in some areas are told that someone needs to stay home and not report to work. It is left up to the employees to determine who won't be allowed to work the next day and that individual then has to decide whether or not they wish to use their PTO in order to be paid for that day. If they have no PTO or choose not to use their PTO, they do not get paid. We rotate being off and are usually off one day at a time. During December, 2006 and January, 2007 we were force to stay home a total of 10 days each. That equals 1/3 of our yearly PTO benefits. Is this legal?

  • #2
    Yes and no.

    It is legal to require employees, both exempt and non-exempt to stay home when there is no work for them to do. It is legal to require those employees, both exempt and non-exempt, to use their PTO for those days. But as far as taking the time unpaid is concerned, that is only legal for the non-exempt employees UNLESS the exempt employee is out for a full workweek.
    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
      Exempt Employees Forced Time Off Texas

      Thanks for the quick reply.

      Another related question: I work in a multidiscipline hospital unit - nurses, social workers, therapists, techs. Only members of two of these disciplines are being asked to not come to work when the census level is low, while other groups remain unaffected. The unaffected employees are in positions where staff to patient ratios are dictated by hospital guidelines and accrediting boards. Is it legal to force selected employees off work while others are allowed to work? It seems that my employer's cost cutting approach puts an unfair burden on only some of their employees and not on others.

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      • #4
        Unless who is being chosen/not chosen is determined by race, religion, national origin etc., they may elect/not elect whichever employees they choose.
        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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