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Salaried and being docked for missed partial days

I am the vice president of an import/wholesale company, with significant HR responsibilities.

I am on salary and generally work an extra 2-5 hours per week.

I also work Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas without compensation.

I have been ill this year and missed several partial days and used up most of my vacation and sick days due to hand surgery.

I am being docked for partial days that I missed, yet I do not receive any comp time for the Saturdays I work every year.

I spoke with the payroll admin and the president of our company.

They both told me that I am out of luck and not entitled to comp time, yet they are entitled to dock me.

We are in the state of Tennessee.

Can this be true?

Yes, it can be true if the employer is counting your partial days off as intermittent FMLA or under ADA.

First of all, as a V.P. you are almost certainly an exempt employee. As such, you do not work an extra 2 to 5 hours per week. There is no standard 40 hour work week for exempt employees. An exempt employee can be required to work 45 hours per week, or 85 hours per week, or 105 hours per week every week with no additional remuneration. Nor is the employee entitled to comp time or paid time off to compensate for these hours.

So your assumption that you should work 40 hours each week and anything extra is a gift to the employer is mistaken.

By the same token, an exempt employee could be required to work 6 or 7 days per week, 52 weeks of the year, and not be entitled to any additional compensation or time off. In some industries, such as hospitality management, such schedules are common.

However, generally an exempt employee who works any portion of the day is entitled to his or her full salary for the day. The employee can be disciplined or terminated for not working the expected hours, or for not getting the job done, but he or she must be paid for the full day — not a portion of it. This would apply to you if you are not on FMLA and do not have a permanent disability that would be covered under ADA. If this is the case, contact the U.S. Department of Labor at to file a wage complaint.

However, several federal laws are exceptions to the FLSA regulations and permit the employer to prorate the exempt employees salary when he or she takes unpaid time off under FMLA or ADA.

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This entry was posted on Monday, May 17th, 2010 at 10:39 am and is filed under
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