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Exempt Employee Vacation

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  • Exempt Employee Vacation

    I'm a salaried exempt employee of a company that has a government service contract for IT services. My current benefits through my company allow me to have 21 days (168 hours) of personal leave (vacation & sick) each year plus 10 days (80 hours) of holiday pay. Leave that goes unused can be paid in cash. However, the company's contract with the gov't states that I must have billable hours of 1920 for the contract year. Do the math.....2080 hours in a full year - 1920 hours working - 80 hours of holiday = 80 hours of leave. My company has "advertised" 168 hours of leave, but in reality I can only take only 80 hours of it. The other 88 hours, I'm FORCED to cash out. I can only be gone from work for 10 days for the contract year (sick, vacation, you name it). Can my company do that to me? This affects about 75 of the company's employees on the contract at my location alone. Please comment on this if you have any legal understanding of exempt employee's of a contractor who holds multiple large dollar goverment service contracts.

  • #2
    I managed payroll for a while for a government defense contractor and did not have any knowledge of any requirements as you describe being mandated by the company being such.

    Having said that, unless state law addresses it, it is completely up to the employer how they manage how much time you can take off and what they do with the balance that you are not allowed to take. However, no state prohibits the employer from cashing out any outstanding vacation at any given time.
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    • #3
      I kind of figured we were all out of luck. Apparently, the contract we were under before was a labor based contract (or something like that). Now we are under a firm fixed price contract underwhich all contractors are to work exactly 1920 hours over the contract year each. I've been told the gov't is trying to get a handle on expenses and make the contracts simpler to manage. Kind of a cookie cutter; one size fits all approach. Prior to this contractor employees were putting in lots of extra hours and of course the gov't was billed those hours because under a service contract I guess every hour must be accounted for to the gov't. I'm not sure of all the details, I'm just trying figure out if what my company was doing is legal - but it sounds like it is.


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