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exempt-employer asked me to leave can he dock? Colorado

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  • exempt-employer asked me to leave can he dock? Colorado

    I am salaried exempt. Last blizzard my employer closed the facility & sent us all home. My pay was docked (I don't have any PTO) a full day's wage. Am I correct in my understanding that
    a. since I worked part of a day he couldn't deduct anything since I didn't have any PTO.

    b. If I had had any PTO, since he had sent us home rather than me saying I needed to leave for personal reasons, would he have been able to deduct it?

  • #2
    Things like "exempt" and "salaried" are a function of a federal law called FLSA. Things like PTO are not. Federal DOL is on record that PTO has nothing to do with federal law. Exempt Salaried are a function of a regulation called 29 CFR 541.602.
    - Lets say that Bob works 8-8-8-8-4-0-0. Bob must be paid his entire salary per 541.602.
    - Lets say that Bob works 1-1-1-1-1-0-0. Bob must be paid his entire salary per 541.602.
    - Lets say that Bob works 8-8-8-8-0-0-0. At this point it gets interesting. If Bob missed a day voluntarily, the employer can dock the actual payment of the salary for that one day. If Bob instead misses the day because the employer told him to, Bob must be paid for that day (no docking).
    - If Bob works 0-0-0-0-0-0-0, then the entire salary can be docked, even if the hours are involuntarily not docked.
    - "Worked" means hours actually worked. Not PTO. Not vacation, sick, holiday or any other paid time not worked.
    - Under federal rules, "docking" has nothing what-so-ever to do with PTO. Reducing the PTO balance is not legally docking under federal rules. Federal rules could not care less what happens to the PTO balance.

    Those are the basic rules, but point in fact 541.602 covers a much broader range of situation, and there is a real need to read the actual regulation.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3

      yes but suppose bob works....

      8,8,8,8,5 & the owner sent him home because of a blizzard.

      My understanding is
      a-he has to be paid for the partial day because he worked part of it & partial days cannot be docked,

      if the employer so chose he could force the use of some PTO or vacation etc to make up the deficit, but since it doesn't exsist, he cannot pay less than the full wage for "bob" for that week. Correct?

      My question was if "Bob" had actually had any PTO or other time, since the employer was the one that sent everyone home, could he have taken the personal time too? BTW he did dock pay here.... a full day too.


      • #4
        If Bob normally is paid $1,000/week, and Bob works 8,8,8,8,5, then Bob normally must be paid $1,000. There is no blizzard exception. There is no PTO exception. There is no positive or negative PTO balance exception in the 29 CFR 541.602 rule. If you cannot find the exception in the rule I cited (and you do have a hard reference to the actual regulation), then the exception does not exist.

        PTO still has nothing what-so-ever to do with federal FLSA law, or exempt employees. So could the employer reduce Bob's PTO balance in exchange for Bob not working 3 hours? Sure, why not, since PTO has nothing to do legally with the Exempt Salaried rules. Could the boss reduce the PTO balance because the boss's favorite sports team looses? Sure, under federal law anyhow. Could the boss reduce PTO because the employee wore a red shirt or because it is Sunday? Sure, why not.

        I understand that this is not the answer that you are looking for, but there is no legal linkage between "exempt employee" and "PTO". If such a law exists, it would be a state law and not a function of the employee being exempt.

        Docking actual pay for an exempt salaried employee is a function of FLSA regulation 29 CFR 541.602. Reducing PTO balance for any reason is not a function of any federal law. And it is unlikely that CO law will say anything on this subject that you would find useful.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


        • #5

          Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

          I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.


          • #6
            i'm not arguing w/ the poster, I actually asking about the colorado laws regarding PTO, vacation time etc. As a separate entity from the federal stuff on "docking" that everyone keeps answering the questions about.

            I get that they are separate from the exempt/salary stuff. There are actually two separate issues in the question, since I was docked after having come in for part of a day, when I don't have any vacation or sick or PTO time. Question one is answered. I understand that.

            The separate question, unrelated {(I get it) & maybe it is not addressed by colorado law or maybe you guys didn't get the question} is if a person did have vacation time left, the employer asked an exempt employee to go home after a partial day, could they have forced someone to use that time? I understand if the employee chose to left then yes they could have.


            • #7
              Colorado law does not address the question of vacation or PTO usage. Neither does any other state.

              In ALL 50 STATES, if an exempt employee has vacation time and the employer asked them to go home after a partial day's work, they can be required to use that time.

              Are we quite clear on this now?
              Last edited by cbg; 03-07-2010, 09:31 AM.
              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.


              • #8
                yep, thanks. Of course, not what I wanted to hear, but very clear. appreciate the info. No I know how to pay attention when I do have hours accumulated.


                • #9
                  Agree, you just have to receive your full salary - vac./PTO can be used to pay part of it.
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