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Question about vacation & sick leave for salaried exempt employees California

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  • Question about vacation & sick leave for salaried exempt employees California

    Hi, I am an exempt salaried employee. My current employer requires us to account for all of our time. If I arrive 15 min late due to traffic, I must deduct 15 min vacation time. If I leave an hour early for a doctor's appt, I must deduct an hour of sick leave. From what I have been able to find online, I thought that exempt employees are not required to deduct time for amounts less than 4 hours. Thanks.

  • #2
    My understanding is you (exempt salaried employee) can be required to use vacation/pto for partial day absences of 4 hrs. or more per Conley court decision. (There is nothing in the CA-DLSE rules, opinions or court decisions that indicate that this "rule" affects reductions in sick pay.)

    I also understand per some Ca. responders on this forum that it is assumed under 4 hrs. is not allowed though the Ca DLSE has not actually said this.

    Check back for DAW (Ca. responder) to come along - I "believe" the above info is what he also understands.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

    Comment


    • #3
      CA-DLSE is deliberately less then clear on this issue. Anyone can give you their opinion on this issue, but it will be no more then that person's opinion.

      1. The Conley decision does not say what CA-DLSE says it says. Conley never raised this issue. The court did not address this issue. Conley felt that because his vacation/PTO balance was reduced, this action by itself flushed Conley's Exempt status. Conley was looking to have all unpaid overtime paid. The court said no. The courts decision in it's entirety is addressing the Exempt status. It is a very interesting decision if one is interested in Exempt status issues.
      2. CA-DLSE has stated rules, supposedly based on Conley, that states an Exempt Salaried who fails to work 4 hours in a work day can have 4 hours vacation/PTO deducted from their balance. CA-DLSE has the authority to create this rule all by themselves, so the strange cite would not by itself invalidate this rule. Unless the courts say otherwise. Which thus far was not occurred.
      3. CA-DLSE has not stated a general rule saying (for example) if the employee fails to work a certain time other then 4 hours, then that amount of time can be deduction from the vacation/PTO balance. It would be very nice if CA-DLSE stated that general rule. Or any general rule.
      4. In CA vacation/PTO is legally vested and sick pay is not. I would be careful trying to assume that a vacation/PTO specific rule has anything legally to do with a sick pay specific rule.

      I can give you a pointer to what CA-DLSE has actually said on this issue (their manual).

      http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Manual-Instructions.htm
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, DAW. The rules certainly aren't clear. Betty3
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

        Comment


        • #5
          On May 30th, 2001 CA-DLSE issued a very clear opinion letter on this subject. CA employers hated the opinion letter, threatened legal action and worse. About 3 weeks later CA-DLSE withdrew the opinion letter but was very careful to not actually spell out what rules replaced the opinion letter. Cynics have suggested that CA-DLSE is still p.o. about having to back down and by not issuing formal instructions, they are getting back at employers for making them lose face. Perhaps, although there are other areas where CA-DLSE has refused to issue useful guidance with no such known motive.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

          Comment


          • #6
            It's always "fun" answering Ca. questions where the Ca. DLSE doesn't give any useful guidance when you need it.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

            Comment


            • #7
              The DLSE is much like the weather in California. Clear in some areas, cloudy in others.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Worriedspouse View Post
                The DLSE is much like the weather in California. Clear in some areas, cloudy in others.

                Excellent insight.
                I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I like that!
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Update

                    Looks like the DLSE Chief Counsel has issued a new opinion letter dated 11/23/09 on exempt employee vacation deductions for partial day absences. I haven't had an opportunity to read the OL yet (13 pages long) but I intend to in the near future. Given the political agenda of the current CA administration, I'm curious as to what position the division will take. Rest assured I will weigh in once I have the opportunity to examine the entire OL.

                    OL and Req. Letter available here: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/OpinionLetters-byDate.htm 11/23/09
                    "The most patriotic people in America are the working class" - Cecil Roberts - President UMWA

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks, mcarson87. I haven't read it yet either though. It should be interesting.
                      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                      Comment

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