Salaried employee missed days


Any labor law experts out there? I have almost always been a salaried employee (professional job). To me this means I get paid for 40 hours, regardless of what I actually work. Yet it seems that my current employer’s policy is that if I use up all my official time off (vacation, sick days) that I will not be paid for any additional time I may need to take. Does anyone know if that is legal? I always thought you could only do that to hourly workers. I know the only way to force the issue is to actually take legal action which is sure to loose someone their job, But our HR dept is pretty cool and if I could provide some sources or documentation, I’m sure the official policy would change. (unless of course, i’m totally wrong)

If i didn’t provide enough detail, let me know and i’ll try to fill in the gaps.


I’ve been salaried for close to 20 years, in companies small and large, public and private. If I used up all my PTO, Sick or Vacation time, I would not be expected to be paid for additioal days off.


I’m salaried as well. If I use up all my PTO/vacation, extra days off must be made up at another time.


ditto here.


Same here. If you think about it, you get a job, and you work for a year, and you accrue, say, 3 weeks vacation, and three weeks sick time. You then use up all six weeks, and then you decide to take 3 more weeks off. You would effectively be being paid to not work.

Lemme know if your company changes it’s policy, I’d love to apply to get paid to not work, sit at home and read magazines all day!


Here is a link to questions and answers regarding "exempt’ employees [salaried employees] from Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries web page [BOLI]. Your state may differ some but probably not that much…

I hope this helps


With my employer the difference between exempt and non-exempt employees has to do with taking full days off versus partial days.

If someone has a doctor’s appointment, for example, a non-exempt employee would take one hour (or whatever) of sick leave to see the doctor. An exempt employee wouldn’t take sick leave since it’s only a small part of the day.


Yes, it is legal. Just because you are exempt doesn’t mean you can take off unlimited days.

You can go to the Department of Labor website and review information under the Fair Labor Standards Act.


Once should use up your vacation and sick time you don’t get paid.


Be careful, and dont repeat this question to anyone at your workplace, or you very easily could end up with plenty of days off from work. And, no job.


For those who missed the link in an earlier post herre are some of the questions and answers from the BOLI site I linked:

I understand that a basis for determining whether employees are exempt is that they are paid on “a salary basis.” What does that mean?
A. In general, an employee is considered to be paid on a salary basis if he/she receives a predetermined amount (salary) for the pay period, and that amount is not subject to reduction in any week in which he/she performs any work, regardless of the number of days or hours worked.

Q. Does this mean that deductions are never allowed from the salary?
A. No. Deductions may be made in the following situations:
*]Employees need not be paid for any work week in which they perform no work.
*]Deductions may be made when the employees are absent from work for a day or more for personal reasons.
*]Deductions may be made when the employees are absent from work for a day or more for sickness or a disability if the employer has a bona fide plan, policy or practice of providing compensation for loss of salary occasioned by both sickness and disability.[/LIST]Q. Does this mean that if an employer does not have a paid sick leave plan that covers both sickness and disabilities, the employer could not deduct for such sickness and/or disability?
A. Yes. If there is no plan, policy or practice of providing compensation for such sickness or disability the deduction would be disallowed if the employee were to remain exempt.

Q. May I deduct for a day or more of sick leave if the employee has not been with my company long enough to qualify for compensation under my sick leave plan?
A. Yes.

Q. If an employee has used all accrued sick leave, may I deduct for periods of less than a day?
A. No. Deductions may only be made for a day or more.

Q. What kinds of deductions would not be allowable if the employer wants to regard the employee as being paid on “a salary basis”?
A. Deductions may not be made for:
*]Time when work was not available.
*]Absences occasioned by the employer or by the operating requirements of the business.
]Absences caused by jury duty, attendance as a witness or temporary military leave. The employer may, however, offset any amounts received by an employee as jury or witness fees or military pay for a particular week against the salary due for that particular week without loss of the exemption.
]Absences of less than one day.[/LIST]
Note that although the employer is prohibited from docking an exempt employee for such absences, the employer may require that the exempt employee use accrued paid leave.


PEOPLE PEOPLE…A little charity here please!!!

I am not, nor would I ever consider asking about taking unlimited amounts of time off and staying home and getting paid. GET REAL. I didn’t think I needed to spell that part out. But since you obviously do need it spelled out, lets try this scenario…

This has happened several times since I have worked here. All of us Engineers are salaried. Someone hit the power generator at the end of the block with a truck and power went out in the building at like 10:00 in the morning. The power company said it would take until after 4:00 to fix it. The boss/owner said anyone who wants to leave can take a vacation day. If you don’t have any vacation days left, then you will not be paid.

Or how about this…we have a company shut down from Christmas to New Years. Most of the time this is about 3 days, since Christmas and New Years are actually paid company holidays. Boss says, if you didn’t save any vacation time for the shut down days, you will not be paid for them.

I love the way you all assume I want something for nothing. So when I regularly have to loose half my Sunday flying to a customer site, and come home at midnight friday, the employer doesn’t have to pay me because I’m salaried, but if my kids get sick more days than I have vacation time for, that’s my tough luck and salaried only works for the benefit of the employer, not the employee. I was just asking if anyone knew that by doing any of the above mentioned things, the employer actually treats his employees as hourly, thereby setting the precedent that he now has to follow for all employees, namely paying them overtime, and all the down side (for the employer) stuff that goes with not being salaried. Sheesh!


This is how I treat my salary employees and I have very few.

Vacation time is their time. It can be take for exactly that, vacation. We shut down during the week of Christmas and I pay them, let me tell you why. They work about 50 hours a week. I figure it all evens out if I pay them for store shut down, makes them feel like I’m giving them more, etc…if they have to leave for a doctor’s appt. , no problems, vacation is days off for them. They never abuse the appt. thing, etc and I am very choosey over who I put as a salary employee.

Some companies keep up with your time over 40 hours, those hours built up and say for every 8 hours that you work over you get an hour of vacation, but as far as I know, this is not a law/requirement.


This is treating an employee as a non-exempt employee. If you work part of the day, you are to be paid for the day.

Yes, this is legal.

Yes, the first one is bordering on treating an employee as non-exempt. The second is not.

However, that doesn’t mean the employee becomes non-exempt. Likely the employer would be told he can’t do that, maybe pay a fine or pay you for the day you were docked. It takes a lot more to actually reclassify an exempt job as non-exempt.

In general, your employer sounds cheap and cheesy rather than a law-breaker. There’s the law, and then there is good will. While not required to, the employers I’ve worked for are very flexible with days off especially when I travel a lot or work a lot of OT. They often give comp time, as in “go ahead and take tomorrow off… you’ve been traveling a lot.”


Have you been to the Wisconsin Dept. of Labor and Industry Review? They are very similar to the Illinois Department of Labor.
They should have the information or a phone number to get the information.



I did not assume you wanted pay for no work - just answers to questions…I hope you were not refering to my posts.

Did you go to the Oregon BOLI link I provided or read the post with the questions and answers? I think your situations [from your post] are covered in the Q’s and A’s I posted…

Good Luck :slight_smile:


I have to travel for my job, and I don’t get paid for it. I fly to conferences and I’m not necessarily on the clock, but my feeling is, once I’m out the door of the conference, I’m on my time, it might be frustrating, but I can take advantage of the time to catch up on stuff I like to do, I can read, listen to music, sleep on a plane. I can do the same in a car so long as I’m not driving. If I was feeling that frustrated with the situation, I would talk to my supervisor regarding me flying back during normal work hours.


If you are a salaried employee you should not be docked for any of the scenarios your layout above. You should file a complaint with who ever overseas labor issues in your state. Your boss is doing thois because he can get away with it. It won’t stop until someone complains.

When I have to shut down because of the power failure or other circumstances beyond our control I pay the hourly people as well as a salaried people. I likewise close my office between Christmas and new years and again pay both hourly and salaried people. You’re boss could use some lessons and effective management


I live in Canada, and work under a unionized Government environment, however, I am sure some basic labour rules are applied similarily.

I would agree that not getting paid when the power went out is very unfair. Basically, your employer had to send you home because it was likely unsafe for you to work in a building without power.

As for the Christmas holidays, the employer is only required to pay for the statutory holidays. That is usually Christmas day ( or another day if it falls on a weekend ) and we get Boxing Day in Canada. Everything else is a regular day. Sometimes employers are nice and allow you to bank your hours worked previously to get the whole week off. Up to the employer.

When I was a teenager and worked hourly wage jobs, I had the impression that salaried emoployees got paid the same amount no matter what. Even if they didnt work the full 40 hours work week. But that just isn’t the case at all. You have to make up all your time.


I re-read your Christmas scenario. As far as I know, your vacation time is yours to use whenever you want, subject to operational requirements. It doesn’t sound right that you would be forced to take 3 days off over Christmas because the company shuts down…

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit