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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37854
Experience:  30+ years legal experience and I keep current in Employment Law through regular continuing education.
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I am a salaried employee. My salary is based on 32 hours per

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I am a salaried employee. My salary is based on 32 hours per week. There is nothing that indicates the number of days I must work, but I have in the past (since going to a shorter work week) worked Monday thru Friday to get the 32 hours. However if something required me to take some personal time, I could do my 32 hours in four days and still get the full pay for that time. My employer is telling me that the federal government has ruled that an employee must work the full five days to not use their paid time off for the one day they did not work, even while having the full 32 hours. Is this correct?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

While your employer's interpretation of the law is not quite correct, they are close.

As an exempt, salaried employee, your employer is allowed to set regular work days for you. And, if you fail to work all of those days---regardless of whether you actually get all of your hours in on the other days of the week, your employer MAY deduct from your salary an amount equal to one day's salary, or charge you with a PTO day. The employer is not obligated under the law to do this---it is only an option for them.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Where can I find this in the law?


Can the employer make this effective any time? I was just told of this yesterday and she plans to apply it to my last 2 weeks time card and forward. She says it actually should have taken effect in May of 2010. How can I find out?


What if I have a 5 day 32 hour work week (this is not in a written work agreement with my employer) and work 4 of the days and several hours on the 5th day. How can this be handled? Would I be paid for all 5 days? By the hours worked?


If the employer can say even though you have worked 32 hours but not 5 days we can deduct that 5th day....What about someone who works the 4 full days and several hours on the 5th day? How can they be treated?


I have worked here for 45 years, am a Risk Manager (non supervisory) and this is the first time I ever heard of such a thing. Is it a new law?



Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 years ago.
Good morning,

The laws you are looking for are contained withing the vast regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Consequently, this clearly is not a new law.

The employer may make a change in what they will allow at any time in terms of how your time may be apportioned during the work week. However, if a policy change of the employer is made which effects your wagers, then they may NOT apply the change retroactively.

This is NOT a new law, and it is NOT mandatory----it is only permissive. Under the law though, while you may have to work only a minimum of 32 hours a week, even if you work those 32 hours in the first 2 days of the work week, you may not simply take the remainder of the time off. The employer may mandate that you work a given number of days in the week as well. Your employer has chosen 5 days, but they could just as well have chosen 7 days and that would be lawful as well.

Under the law, even if the exempt employee only works 5 minutes, they are entitled to their full salary for the day. The employer may use sick, vacation or personal time to make up the difference in the hours that day, but the employee must be paid their full salary for the day.


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