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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19168
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Im a salaried employee. I have 3 sick days and two vacation

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I'm a salaried employee. I have 3 sick days and two vacation days left. my company already paid me for the full vacation pay even though I don't take it all. my wife's aunt dies and I wanted to attend the wake. my boss said that's fine but, we are not paying you for it. I then asked if they were taking a vacation day away from me then since it was paid to me weeks ago. Problem is I don't think its right that in a unexpected event I use a vacation day when im not even on vacation. stuff happens in life.
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I look forward to assisting you today. I bring nearly 20 years of experience in various legal disciplines.

I'm sorry. I just wanted to clarify your question.

Are you asking if the employer is allowed to require you to use vacation to cover time off for a funeral?

Does the employer have a bereavement leave policy?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

bereavement leave policy yes but just for my family side. I was there for the wake only and I work nights. no on the first question.. do I have a choice to use my one of my sick days to cover it?

Well, nothing in law defines sick leave to include time off for a funeral. An employer can define it in that way, but no court or government agency is going to require an employer to.

So, in that sense, you have no legal right to use a sick day to cover the time off.

Now, time off for bereavement is not legally required in your state. In fact, only one state has passed a law requiring bereavement leave and that law doesn't come into effect until January 1, 2014. So, courts will only hold an employer to whatever policy they may have. Your employer has a policy, but it doesn't apply in this situation.

So, if your employer has no bereavement leave requirement by their own policy and the employer doesn't specifically allow the use of sick leave for that time off, then the employer legally can require that you use your vacation to cover that time period off. They can choose to allow it to be an unpaid leave of absence, but nothing in the law requires an employer to have a policy of unpaid leaves of absence. Again, the courts and government would rely on the company policy on the matter.

If they have no policy allowing you to elect to be on an unpaid leave, the employer can cover that time that you are gone with the vacation day.

I do wish that I could tell you differently here, but the law doesn't force an employer to allow what you want here (though I believe it is reasonable).
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

so what would be the best questions to ask them? I don't see it fair to use a vacation day for something that was unexpected. im looking at policy book now and they say... in the event of a full-time employees parent,child,spouse,parent in law,sibling,grandparent or grandchild your entiled to max 3 working days off at reg. pay. If the case is use the vaction day I am better off just taking the other now... right.

I certainly understand your position on it being unfair to be asked to use your vacation for something that was unexpected. I would even agree with you on that position.

But I have to restrict my answers to the law, as the best way to be of service to you. While I agree it's unfair to require that, it's not illegal. An employer can define the use of their vacation in any way they choose. In fact, they don't legally have to have vacation at all.

So, unfortunately, they simply can require the use of vacation. Because you are asking for time off for something that does not fit in their bereavement policy, they can require the use of vacation.

Now, I'm not sure I understand your second question there. I don't know if you're better off taking both days now. That's a personal decision. I don't see it legally being any better.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I guess. my botXXXXX XXXXXne is since I'm salaried I should get paid no matter what in somes cases. I'm better off just being hourly then..Im' going to have to ask them what the companies benefits of being salaried are. I've been with them for almost three years but, starting to call the quits. especially that I work 56 hours in a four day work week.

No, that's not the law for salaried people.

Legally, if you miss an entire day, you don't have to be paid for that day under the law.

Furthermore, the FSLA doesn't have any comments on the use of vacation time, because vacation was not prominently used when that law was written.

So, if a salary person misses 3 hours in a day, the law states that their time can't be reduced by 3 hours on their pay. However, the employer can reduce their vacation hours by 3 to offset that time they didn't work. What's truly horrible about that though is that you don't credited for hours over your normal that you work later that week.

Again, I won't say it's fair, but that's the law.

In truth, being salaried is really hardly any benefit to you at all. Mostly, the benefit is to the employer.

I do wish that I could tell you differently, but I'm simply respecting you enough to be honest with you about the law here.

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