Post # 1
I have a question for those of you familiar with salary laws especially in California. I was under the impression that if you are exempt from overtime on salary that taking a half day for whatever reason does not exclude you from pay. Meaning they can’t deduct a half day from your salary because you took a half day. My HR person researched this years ago due to some issues we were having with new employees and it seemed to be the case.
Yesterday I had to come into work late (11 am) for a few reasons as I had a doctor’s appointment and then had to deal with my car (issues mentioned in previous post…accident, cracked windshield etc). I notified my manager and boss the night before (Sunday evening) advising them of the situation. My boss tells me today that if I am going to come into work later than 9:30 or 10 am (we work 8-5 pm) that I needn’t bother coming in at all…in other words I have to take PTO or if I don’t have PTO I don’t get paid for the full day.
EDIT: I just read a very detailed list of CA Exempt Salary laws and it states that for me as an exempt worker I cannot have my salary deducted by increments only full days. So him forcing me to take the day off means that he is allowing himself the ability to deduct me the full day. Otherwise me coming in for a half day as an exempt salaried worker means he has to pay me for the day. So is it legal for an employer to force you to take the full day off?
Post # 3
I know here in PA if you take half a day they will dock you for it (depending on the employer). If you work for an employer that operates in several states there may be a different set of rules. My advice is to check your handbook.
Post # 4
@MASPA: Thanks. I wish we had a handbook….this place is a lot less formal. 🙁
Post # 5
In my job, you get paid for what you work. Ifyou don’t do your 8 (or 9 or 10) hours, then you don’t get paid.
Post # 6
@abbie017: Do you live in California? Are you an exempt salaried worker?
I updated my question as it seems that in CA you cannot be deducted for partial days. So I’m wondering if it is legal for your employer to force you to take the full day off (so he can legally deduct your paycheck).
Post # 7
@Treejewel19: I just moved to CA from MA and am not up on stuff, but in MA we had special “personal days” set apart from sick or vacation leave that was to be used specifically for this purpose. We could use it in half day increments. Something as minor as coming in an hour and a half late wouldn’t need to be deducted as long as you made it up/didn’t make it a habit.
I think if you are salaried, most jobs give you leeway (most people who are salaried work way more than 40 hrs/wk in my field at least!). But, I’m not really sure whether that’s the boss’ discretion or not in CA? What field of work are you in? I’m a scientist who does experiments (as opposed to a manager who sits at a computer all day) so coming in for a half day would really hinder how much work I could get done that day, as experiments need multiple hours to run. While my boss would be flexible with me if it was a once in a blue moon kind of thing, they definitely wouldn’t be ok with me doing it all the time.
If I were in your shoes, I likely would have come in at 11 and then stayed late, and then worked a little extra the following day to make up anything I didn’t get done. Did you do that? Or did you make it clear to your boss that you were willing to do it?
Post # 8
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
They can help you determine if what your employer is doing is illegal and if it is, they can help you do something about it. (Retaliation for filing an NLRB claim is illegal as well.)
Post # 9
I’m not sure about CA but in WA, as an exempt employee, you either need to take PTO for time missed or you need to go without pay for that time missed. It sounds like your boss is acting within his rights – he would rather pay you out of PTO or not pay you, than pay you to not be at work.
Post # 10
@crayfish: I work in an office dealing with foreign food and drug administrations. I am also the most dependable and responsible person in my office with the largest work load.
Coming in late certainly made my life difficult by finishing my work but it always gets done, always. I didn’t stay too late but then again I never take a lunch (ever) so that certainly helped things. My boss seemed to be flexible about it yesterday but today he brought it up again and was less understanding. To be fair the other employees also come and go as they please and don’t always get their work done so I feel that perhaps he is trying to make an example out of me (not appreciated at all).
I arrived at 11 am and stayed until 5:30 pm and did not (again as always) take a lunch. My work was complete and I even followed up on tasks that didn’t need any prompting but I took the time to do it anyway. No one here can say that I did or have ever dropped the ball on things and they are always commenting on the sheer volume of work I do daily and ridiculous memory I have and attention to details. When I was away for nine days for my wedding/honeymoon I came back to find the place in utter chaos…no one could keep up with what I do. In other words I could come in at 11 am every day and would still be twice as productive as my co-workers.
Obviously I am not planning to make a habit out of it. What I am a bit bothered by is the fact that I would be forced to take a full day off when I had no intention of doing so.
Post # 11
@Ellegee: Right I understand that for a full day, but in CA you cannot do non-paid increments (ie; half-day unpaid) for exempt salaried employers. This was previously concluded by our HR person about four years as well (thanks to some employees that were abusing the system).
I’m not questioning his right to not pay me for the full day (that is totally within his rights) what I am questioning is him forcing me to take a full day off because he doesn’t want to pay me.
Post # 12
@Treejewel19: I read your OP a couple of times and I’m not sure why you think he may be forcing you to take the day off because he doesn’t want to pay you? Can you please explain that?
It sounds to me like he’s telling you that if you can’t work the full day during normal business hours, you’ll have to take a full day off because he can’t legally give you a half-day off.
Post # 13
He legally cannot deduct half a day and it is within my legal rights to take half day as an exempt salaried employee (again as previously concluded by the HR person due to other situations that didn’t involve me but applied to me). I didn’t take a half day but rather worked 6.5 hours out of the 8 hour day.
As he legally cannot deduct half a day from my paycheck he is telling me that if I am coming in an hour or so late as done on Monday that I might as well take the entire day off. So instead of me missing 1.5 hours of work I have to miss 8 hours of work and not get paid at all.
So no there aren’t any laws granting a half day there are laws protecting employees from deductions for half days and he is trying to avoid them.
Post # 14
@Treejewel19: Oh okay, now I understand the issue, thanks for clarifying. It sounds like he may be circumventing the law then. Have you tried speaking to a lawyer or a representative from your state labor board? A lawyer can usually give a free consultation and can at least give you a good idea of whether this policy is illegal and what a realistic outcome to legal action or filing a complaint would be.
You might also speak with the HR rep at your company to clarify the policy. It’s possible that he’s not awareof the law regarding half-days/partial work days. Even if he is aware, emailing HR for clarification on the policy (and CC’ing him on the email) may take care of the problem or at least strengthen your case for illegal conduct.
Post # 15
I’m closing this thread at the request of the OP.