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Exempt Employee Docked Pay or Forced to Use Vacation for Doctor Visits

A Software Developer is categorized as an exempt employee by their employer. If he works overtime he does not receive overtime pay. Also he is on call periodically and when he receives support calls hr does not receive overtime pay. The employer does not provide compensation for the extra hours worked in either pay or time off.

What the employer does do however is require employees that are exempt to take vacation time or sick time whenever they have a doctors appointment. If the employee does not have the time off coming they dock the employees pay for the time they are gone.

This does not seem right to me. Is there something in the FLSA that states how time off such as doctor appointments should be handled for exempt employees?

Yes, the FLSA does address this issue. Everything was kosher about this situation right up until we got to the phrase “they dock the employees pay”. Many employers require salaried exempt workers to use vacation or sick time for absences that are less than a day. However, if the employee has no paid time off left, and the employer docks the workers pay, that is a violation under the FLSA. It effectively makes the employee hourly, and eligible for overtime for the extra hours worked.

Under FLSA, a salaried exempt employee must receive a full days salary when they work any part of the day. If John works 14 hours today or 2 hours, he must be paid his full salary. However, if John misses the entire day, then he can legitimately not be paid for the day. (Salaried exempt employees who are absent in excess of their sick and vacation time can be disciplined or terminated, but they still must be paid in full for any day in which they work at all.)

If the employee is pregnant or has a serious health condition, he or she may qualify for unpaid time off under FMLA. This leave can be used intermittently for doctors appointments. If the employee has a disability under the EEOC definition, he or she may be entitled to time off for doctors appointments under ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 5th, 2008 at 8:38 am and is filed under
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2 Responses to “Exempt Employee Docked Pay or Forced to Use Vacation for Doctor Visits”

  1. tommy Says:

    Just wanted to say I enjoyed the post. You have really put a lot of time into your article and it is just great!

  2. Caitlin Says:

    Check back often, tommy! We post 5 days per week!~ Caitlin

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