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Aug13

Recording Exempt Employees Time Off

We are a relatively small business trying to establish some systems in place as we grow. At the moment we have a bit of an issue with employees on salaries taking days off without any proper system in place for recording this. So, sometimes their days off go unrecorded and it’s hard to keep track of how many holidays/sick days are owed to them. What would be the best method for making sure their days off are recorded – clock-in, clock-out time cards like our hourly employees? (I do not think they would be pleased with that idea :-) ) Thanks heaps.

The method will depend on the number of employees affected and company culture and structure. Companies with mostly onsite employees may consider different methods than companies with primarily telecommuting or field employees.

The most common method is to use a PTO form that must be completed and submitted to the appropriate staff member whenever an exempt salaried employee takes a full day off from work. The form should include the date(s) of the day(s) off, reason for the time off, and the employee’s signature and date of submission. Larger companies will often require management approval on the form as well. However, smaller companies tend to use the honor system in trusting their exempt employees will submit the form.

Another option, as mentioned, is to require exempt salaried employees to punch in/out. This is permissible under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and will not jeopardize the exempt status. This procedure allows management to clearly see which employees worked which days and record paid time off (PTO) as necessary. Often, exempt employees believe that clocking in/out is demeaning and may be resistant to the process.

Depending upon company culture, a PTO entry in an electronic calendar may be another option. Employees must be comfortable using technology to accept this option. Basically, the staff member in charge of recording PTO usage would have access to all exempt employees’ calendars. Whenever an exempt employee takes a full day off from work, the employee documents the time off and reason on his calendar. The designated staff member would then review each employee’s calendar at the end of the pay period and record the PTO usage. As with the previous method, there must be a level of trust with the exempt employees that they will update their calendars as necessary.

Exempt employees are considered professionals and should be able to manage the responsibility of communicating their time off. However, not implementing a procedure with a checks and balances system may very well lead to mismanagement of the PTO banks and/or employee abuse of the system. Adopting a clear process that most of the affected employees will be comfortable using is key to a successful method.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 at 6:42 pm and is filed under
Attendance Management, Benefits.
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