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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18811
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I am an exempt employee big 4 consulting firm. In addition

Customer Question

I am an exempt employee for a big 4 consulting firm. In addition to my 65 hour on average work week, my employer is asking me to check email and participate in conference calls while I am out of the country on vacation. Is this legal? If so, am I required to use my vacation days, or do these days not count, and instead become normal work days? If I have to work while I am on vacation, that's not really vacation, as I am essentially working remotely - what is the law on this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, the FSLA when written made no mention of vacation, so employers aren't bound by any laws about how they choose to utilize their vacation programs, if they even choose to have one (because they aren't required to).

For instance, it is illegal to subtract an hour from your pay check if you were to miss an hour of work one day, as a salaried employee. If you work at all that day, by law you get paid for the entire day. However, an employer can deduct that same hour from your vacation pool, as long as your check is the same rate that's all that matters in the law.

So, to that end, if the employer requires employees to keep up with their work emails in order to utilize the company leave program (which again, is not required in any state in the country), then that is legal.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

You could argue for a prorated use of that vacation, rather than getting a full day credit for time worked on vacation, but that is a matter of your employer's vacation policy and how it can be interpreted. Further, you'd have to sue your employer in state court on your own. This isn't the sort of claim the Department of Labor would consider, because it is about contract issues and interpretation.