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I am a professional salaried, exempt employee in tennessee.

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Some days, the operating room...
I am a professional salaried, exempt employee in tennessee. Some days, the operating room is slow and our CEO is making us stay home on occasionally and making us take accrued PTO time to cover our pay for those days. Is this legal? In addition, he wants us to start going "negative" on PTO accrual for those days if we don't have enough accrued PTO time, saying by the end of the year we will accrue enough to cover the negative balance Any thoughts? My second question concerns call pay. If on call, we are required to be within 20 minutes of the hospital, is this call time compensable? And if so, is it by our normal calculated hourly rate or by a set amount we can negotiate with our employer? Thanks for the help.
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Employment Law
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4/11/2010
Employment Lawyer: Infolawyer, Lawyer replied 7 years ago
Infolawyer
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Our CEO calls us down to meetings on a weekly basis to discuss changes he will be making to our daily routine. We are anesthesia providers with advanced education, and have contracts for employment with the hospital (individual contracts, W-2 employees, exempt and salaried). Every week he tries to change our work, not contradicting contractual terms, only because the contracts aren't that specific. Since we are salaried, exempt employees of the hospital, we want to make sure he is not violating labor laws. None of us has ever had an employer do what he is doing, so we are unsure of the legalities of it. We want some clarification so we can ensure we are being treated fairly.
Employment Lawyer: Infolawyer, Lawyer replied 7 years ago
Legally, I am afraid the employer can do so provided it is not out of discrimination due to race, age, gender, nationality or religion. The employer can do so within its discretion for no reason at all.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Concerning the negative balance of PTO accrual, that is legal as well? Since the contracts don't specify this, do we need to address negative balance issues at end of year if he tries to make us reimburse a negative balance?
Employment Lawyer: Infolawyer, Lawyer replied 7 years ago
Has he had a policy or practice of requiring it? Is it covered by manual?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I haven't seen it in any manual, and previously (December) we had a situation in which one of us was called off due to low census and he did not have any PTO accrued, so they paid him anyway (not negative balance). This is a new "policy" he is adopting at least with us. We haven't been too resistant prior to, because we felt he was probably within his right. But to go negative is not something we are ok with
Employment Lawyer: Infolawyer, Lawyer replied 7 years ago
he cannot single you out then for such penalty and you can contest it on that basis.
Infolawyer
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Category: Employment Law
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