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Insufficient PTO for Exempt Employee

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  • Insufficient PTO for Exempt Employee

    I have an exempt employee who has 9 hours left in her PTO bank. She wants to take 2 days off next week and we do not allow employees to go negative in their bank. Obviously she will get paid for the one day with 8 of her hours, but my question is on the other day. Can I pay her for the 1 remaining hour of PTO and not pay her for 7 hours? Or because she is performing work that week, are we obligated to pay her for the entire day? We are a small, private employer.

    I've been looking around but seem to find conflicting answers. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    By Exempt do you mean someone who is both Exempt and paid on a Salaried basis? If so, the federal rules are 29 CFR 541.602. Lets say that Bob is Exempt Salaried, and paid $1,000/week.
    - If Bob voluntarily works 8-8-8-0-0-0-0, then under the federal rules, Bob must be paid at least $600. If Bob is paid $600 or more, then the federal rules are complied with. The federal rules do not care even a little bit if what happens to the vacation/PTO balance, or if the employer chooses to pay more then $600.
    - CA does care about the vacation/PTO balance, plus CA does care about the federal rules (not that CA has a choice about following the federal rules). So if Bob is paid $600 for time worked, plus paid for all vacation/PTO hours that get reduced from the balance, then CA is fine with the situation.

    Paying Bob for $600 plus the 9 hours vacation/PTO is a legal solution. It is not the only legal solution.


    Past that, letting the vacation/PTO balance go negative is a bad idea anywhere, but is a VERY bad idea in CA.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      PTO - Florida

      Yes, I meant exempt salaried and I am in Florida. I thought I was correct, but was unsure about the one day (1 hour PTO and 7 hours unpaid). Didn't know if that was permitted. Glad to hear it's OK.

      This was my first post - I'm a new HR Manager and I'm sure I'll be back. Thanks.


      • #4
        Of the 50 states, FL is generally considered to the one that cares the least about labor law. They have very little in the way of state specific labor law and do not administratively enforce what few rules they do have.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


        • #5
          Or, you could go the really easy route and only grant her the amount of time she actually has PTO to cover. If that is one day, she may only take one day. Employers do not have to grant the time off just because an employee asks for it.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


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