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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Are mandatory furlough days legal in california. If the company

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Are mandatory furlough days legal in california. If the company goes to mandatory furlough days can exempt employees are converted to non-exempt to calculate payroll. Everyone will be converted to non-exempt under this move.
Thank you for contacting

How many days per week or month is the employer furloughing employees?

Do the exempt employees have employment contracts?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Fridays will be furlough days.


Every employee, exempt and non-exempt, received an offer letter spelling out their income, pay schedule, vacation schedule etc. The letter was signed and returned as an acceptance of the offer.

I see.

If the employees do not have contracts, the employer is typically permitted by law to change the terms of employment. When that occurs, the law treats the new terms as an offer which the employee may accept or reject.

If the reduction in wages is 20% or more, you can typically reject the offer and collect unemployment benefits.

Employers are permitted to treat certain workers as salaried exempt, but that status is not mandatory typically and such employees may be paid on an hourly basis.

Good luck and take care.



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Is this california law we are speaking of? The reason I asked the question is that there has been questions as to furlough days for exempt employees in california and to effect them. My question if mandatory furlough days were legal is still unanswered. Also, can exempt employees be converted to non-exempt in order to effect the weekly calculation. I am specifically interested in California wage law. Thanks!
I believe I answered your question, so will opt out in favor of other attorneys at this point in the event they have something to add.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Are mandatory furlough days legal in california?

A: There is no section of the California Labor Code, nor any regulation of the Labor Commissioner directly dealing with the question of a furlough, as it concerns private employers. There are some cases dealing with public/governent employees, however, I assume that this doesn't apply to you.

Federal law, however, prohibits suspending salary for a salary-exempt employee, “for absences occasioned ... by the operating requirements of the business” (e.g., lack of work). 29 CFR 541.602(a). Thus, a salary-exempt employee is entitled to his or her salary if the employer furlougs the employee on an irregular basis. However, where there is a regular furlough, which is anticipated in advance, then the employer can reduce salary to compensate for the days not worked. See In re Wal–Mart Stores, Inc. (10th Cir. 2005) 395 F3d 1177, 1179, 1187.

If the company goes to mandatory furlough days can exempt employees are converted to non-exempt to calculate payroll. Everyone will be converted to non-exempt under this move.

A: The salary-exempt laws do not require their application. An employer is free to treat the employee as salary-exempt or hourly non-exempt. However, the timing of change from one status to the other must be determined by the "totality of the circumstances." There is no bright-line test. See Counts v. South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. (4th Cir. 2003) 317 F3d 453, 456.

Hope this helps.

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socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 39182
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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