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Docking salaried hours question Illinois

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  • Docking salaried hours question Illinois

    I know the law that says a salary exempt employees hours cannot be docked for partial work days, but can be for full days missed. I'm fine with that. I've seen people respond to such questions stating that the employer can use hours from your PTO balance to cover the difference.

    First off, can someone point out anywhere in the FLSA or on the DOL site anything that states this? Because I can't find it.

    Second, if this is the case, then why even make it a law? Why even put anything in the FLSA stating that they can't dock your time for hours not worked, if you're going to get it covered anyway?

    Also, what if you've run out of accrued PTO? I know some companies let you go into the negative for PTO based upon what you will earn back before the year is out, but what if you're at that negative?

    Any clarification here would be helpful. Specifically because I went home early one day last week cause my wife and daughter were home sick, and I came in on Monday and my boss had put me in for 36 worked hours, and 4 PTO hours. I asked her about it and she said she could use the PTO to make it up, but couldn't point out a specific law to me.

  • #2
    Originally posted by drumz View Post
    she said she could use the PTO to make it up, but couldn't point out a specific law to me.
    That is because there are no laws requiring the company to provide you with vacations, holidays or sick leave. There are no laws regulating how the company policies must work except that some states require earned vacation time to be paid out upon termination.

    What your company did is legal, since it is not illegal.

    The US Department of Labor has no problem with companies having PTO plans and using available time in the bank to cover absences. See this DOL opinion letter issued less than a year and a half ago--

    http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/opinion/F...14_32_FLSA.pdf
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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    • #3
      Thanks. That sheds a little light on the subject.

      This is an excerpt from that document you linked to.

      Where the employee’s absence is for less than a full day, payment of the employee’s guaranteed salary must be made, even if an employee has no accrued benefits in the leave plan and the account has a negative balance.

      So is this document something I would be able to point to if I reach my negative cap?

      I still want to know why they would make a law if the employer can deduct anyway. It's like they said, "you can't dock a salaried employees hours for less than full day increments." But then when the subject comes up, their stance is, "Well...we guess you CAN dock them, but use their accrued benefits if they have them. If they don't have them, then don't dock em. You gotta pay em anyway." But they haven't explicilty amended that into the act.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by drumz View Post
        Where the employee’s absence is for less than a full day, payment of the employee’s guaranteed salary must be made, even if an employee has no accrued benefits in the leave plan and the account has a negative balance.

        So is this document something I would be able to point to if I reach my negative cap?
        Yes. Partial day absences for any reason (aside from FMLA) must be paid, even if there is no PTO available.
        Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ScottB View Post
          Yes. Partial day absences for any reason (aside from FMLA) must be paid, even if there is no PTO available.
          However, that doesn't mean that you MUST allow the employee to "go negative", although you may. If you don't, it's kind of like free money, though.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by drumz View Post
            I still want to know why they would make a law if the employer can deduct anyway. It's like they said, "you can't dock a salaried employees hours for less than full day increments." But then when the subject comes up, their stance is, "Well...we guess you CAN dock them, but use their accrued benefits if they have them. If they don't have them, then don't dock em. You gotta pay em anyway." But they haven't explicilty amended that into the act.

            Because they aren't docking your salary, they are simply charging your time off to your vacation pay code instead of your regular pay code.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ScottB View Post
              Yes. Partial day absences for any reason (aside from FMLA) must be paid, even if there is no PTO available.
              So then I really have nothing to worry about if I have to leave early. I'll still get paid. Mind you I don't make a habit of it, but with a pregnant sick wife at home who still has to take care of two children, I might have to dart out of here rather often.

              Thanks for all the responses everyone. If I may ask one more related question,
              I remember reading somewhere in the flsa, that they have to pay you even if there is no work to be performed. On this track of thought, there have been times where salaried employees have been told to leave early because the business was slow and we had more than enough coverage for whatever business might come in. Now, if THEY are sending me home early, do I have to say Yes? Can they legally send a salaried employee home early to save on payroll? Kinda doesn't make sense if they're gonna pay me anyway out of any PTO I have. And if they are the ones sending me home early, why should I be forced to use MY accrued benefits to help them? If this is too much or off topic let me know and I'll start a new thread.

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              • #8
                From the DOL Fact Sheet 17G http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/complian...17g_salary.htm "Subject to exceptions listed below, an exempt employee must receive the full salary for any week in which the employee performs any work, regardless of the number of days or hours worked. Exempt employees do not need to be paid for any workweek in which they perform no work. If the employer makes deductions from an employee’s predetermined salary, i.e., because of the operating requirements of the business, that employee is not paid on a “salary basis.” If the employee is ready, willing and able to work, deductions may not be made for time when work is not available.

                Keep in mind that they can still charge your time to your vacation balance but if you don't have it, they can't reduce your pay. So, yes they can send you home, but you're right that it doesn't make sense since they will have to pay you anyway.

                Of course, when you mention this, expect them to send home an hourly person instead and make YOU stay.

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                • #9
                  Is the employer subject to FMLA and if so, do you meet the criteria? If your wife is ill enough to need your care, you should be applying for FMLA. Although that means your salary MAY be docked for missed hours related to the FMLA intermittent leave, it also means that the absences cannot count against you. Without such job protection, your employment could be terminated for excessive absences. Not saying the employer would do that, just that they legally could.

                  Again, as an exempt employee, your salary (not your PTO, but your total salary) may be docked for a partial day absence only if that absence is related to usage of intermittent FMLA leave.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
                    Again, as an exempt employee, your salary (not your PTO, but your total salary) may be docked for a partial day absence only if that absence is related to usage of intermittent FMLA leave.

                    Patty,

                    Are you saying that his employers could dock his pay for FMLA absence and he would receive less than a full week's pay but still have PTO available for later use? That would be a pretty unusual thing to do, wouldn't it?

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                    • #11
                      Possible. The employer MAY require usage of PTO for intermittent leave, but they don't have to. Since his pay may legally be docked for usage of intermittent leave (partial day absence) there is really no legal reason to make the employee use PTO to keep the salary "whole".
                      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                      • #12
                        Ya, they would probably send an hourly person home instead. Just seems unfair for them to FORCE me to use my PTO if THEY send me home.

                        As for the FMLA thing, she doesn't have any doctor ordered rest thing, it's just morning sickness hitting her hard that usually lasts til around 5 or 6 in the evening. She can barely get out of bed and feels really weak. Her first appointment is next week so the doctor MIGHT mention something about needing special attention, at which time I will probably look into the whole FMLA thing.
                        Last edited by drumz; 02-04-2008, 11:28 AM. Reason: typos

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by drumz View Post
                          Ya, they would probably send an hourly person home instead. Just seems unfair for them to FORCE me to use my PTO if THEY send me home.

                          I don't disagree; it seems unfair to me, too. But unfair and illegal don't always coincide and this is one of those situations.
                          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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