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Exempt employee who is on FMLA and returns with limited hours

If an exempt employee is on PDL and usually works a 40 hour week, but is able to return to work on a “no more than 4 hours a day” can you automatically change their status to hourly?

You can make this employee hourly, but there is probably a better way to handle this.

An exempt employee who works part of the day is generally entitled to her full salary for the day under the FLSA, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. However, there are exceptions under the FLSA for an employee who is covered by FMLA or ADA.

If the employee has FMLA leave available, she will be taking 4 hours of unpaid FMLA each day. You can prorate the exempt employee's salary based upon the number of hours that she takes off under FMLA.

If the employee has a permanent disability under ADA, she may be entitled to a modified work schedule as a reasonable accommodation under ADA. Again, the exempt employees salary can be prorated based upon the number of hours she works, under ADA.

If the employee is not covered by ADA or FMLA, you are usually not required to accommodate a modified work schedule. You could legitimately tell the employee that she cannot return to work until she is able to work her full schedule. If you do allow her to return to work as an exempt employee, she would be entitled to her full salary for the day, even if she works only 4 hours.

You can change this worker to an hourly employee, but it would be safest to make this change permanent.

Employees may be entitled to additional benefits under a state family leave law.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2011 at 8:05 am and is filed under
Attendance Management.
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