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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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Am I required to pay a salaried employee requested time off

Customer Question

Am I required to pay a salaried employee requested time off when he hasn't accrued enough time? I have a salaried associate who has been here a little under 6 months. He is wanting to take 4 days off of work. He has 27 hours. If I pay him 3 days that leaves him 3 hours, can I just pay him 3 hours or do I have to pay him the whole 8 hours or can I deny the 4th day off telling him he doesn't have enough time to cover it?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.

Good morning Kim,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Presuming that the time off is for personal use, and not because of an illness or injury, then if your employee does not have enough vacation time accrued, you may deny the request for the time off, or you may advance the additional vacation time/PTO to allow him to take the four days off, or you may allow him to take the vacation hours accumulated and allow unpaid leave of absence for the remainder of the 4 days.

The situation would be different if he came down ill, or simply had a doctor appointment which took part of the day to attend---but this clearly appears a planned vacation for personal reasons and you are not obligated to pay him for that time.

As a general rule, if a salaried exempt employee is absent for a full day or longer on personal business, such absence may be deducted on a pro rata basis from his salary owed at the end of the pay period. Here is an article that you might find useful:

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link if you need any clarification of my answer.

Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed, so that I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested. I will be happy to continue further, and to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I wish you the best in 2013,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your information, but I think you are giving me California laws, I am looking for Missouri Laws. Are they any different or do you only practice in CA? Not sure how I ended up in CA, I selected MO. Sorry!!!

Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
Good morning Kim,

I'm quite sorry. I presumed that because your question was posted in the CA law category, that it was a CA case.

However---for MO---under federal law---the Fair labor Standards Act--if an exempt employee has taken all their vacation time, sick time or other paid time off the FLSA regulations do allow docking of exempt employees for full day absences taken when the employee has exhausted absenteeism. Specifically, deductions are allowed for absences from work of one or more full days for personal reasons, unless those days are for sickness or disability.

Unless your employee is planning on actually working part of that 4th day, then you have no obligation to pay him for the 5 hours that he is gone in addition to his 3 hours of vacation time. You may allow him to take the 4 days, and pay for just the 3 days and 3 hours.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Exactly what I needed!! Thank you!!!

Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
My pleasure Kim,

Thank you for your kind words. They are appreciated. Please keep in mind that until you rate me highly for my service, I will not be credited with helping you.

Thanks again.

Have a great day,