My question is, may I convert an exempt employee who is pregnant to a non-exempt status, if she only wants to work 15 hours a week?
There is no law that you must offer this full-time employee a part-time job, and ideally any employment change you make would be unrelated to her pregnancy. Even in California, being pregnant does not give the employee the right to dictate her hours of work.
If you have a part-time job available, and the employee wants it, and is qualified for it, you can certainly switch her to that job. Any employee can be paid on an hourly basis — even the CEO. There is no law that you must treat anyone as an exemt employee — only that you may treat them as exempt if you like.
However, if you only have a full-time job, you can leave the worker on full-time. She can use FMLA or another type of family leave to take unpaid time off. Legally, you can prorate an exempt employees salary while he or she is on FMLA, without changing exempt status.
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