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This applies to me too - office closed half day

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  • This applies to me too - office closed half day

    Having read this thread, I get that the Feds don't care about my PTO, but what about CA state law? My situation is much like the above:
    I am a full-time, salaried, exempt employee in CA (work in CA and company is based in CA). Our office is closing early for Christmas eve - 1pm, which makes for an exact half day. I have already put in to take PTO that day, before I found out about the early closure. I asked HR if I could use 4 hours of PTO (for salaried exempt employees "one day" of PTO = 8 hours). HR told me that I would have to enter a full 8 hour day of PTO, in essence forfeiting 4 hours of PTO, as apparently our office policy is to only allow PTO to be taken in full-day increments.

    So, is this legal?


  • #2
    Hard to say. The rules, such as they are, can be found in the CA-DLSE manual. If you read the rules it will say something like, per the Conley decision, employers can deduct 4 hours PTO if an exempt salaried employee does not work 4 hours. Two problems with the statement. The Conley decision does not actually say that. Since CA-DLSE has the authority to make such a statement all by themselves, that is not necessarily a big deal. The larger problem is that CA-DLSE in their wisdom does not state a general rule at all, just misquote a court decision.

    So, you can ask people and people can say something like "reducing 4 hours PTO in response to 4 hours taken means that there must be an implied rule that PTO hours can be reduced one-for-one for hours not worked". The problem is that CA-DLSE has never actually said that, and the courts have never actually said that. And people saying that does not necessarily make it true.

    On May 30, 2001 CA-DLSE issued a very clear opinion letter on this subject. The problem is that employers hated the letter, and so on June 22, 2001 CA-DLSE withdrew the letter. The problem is that CA-DLSE has never issued clear rules on this subject. Arguably, they have gone out of their way to not issue clear rules on this subject.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      The confusion about partial-day PTO in California not withstanding, however, this is a very common practice in many companies for whom I have worked or with whom I have consulted in that, if you were already scheduled for a PTO day, you don't get to reduce your PTO used just because the company decides to close the office early. Reason being (and I can understand it to a point) is that the advantage is going to the employees who were going to work on a day before a holiday when they probably would have wanted to take the day off as much as you did. Maybe they just got their request in too late for consideration.

      Just saying, there are logical arguments on each side for this particular policy.
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