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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My home was recently burglarized and the laptop company

Customer Question

My home was recently burglarized and the laptop for the company I work for was stolen. It is my assigned work laptop by my employer that can be used for working from home. My manager was immediately informed of the situation.
I returned to work a day after the incident and was told a new computer would not be available for several days. I was not offered a loaner so I could work. However I used my personal cell phone to read and answer work emails while in the office. After being in the office for several hours I found by work emails my assigned corporate credit was also stolen and used. I had to leave after 3 hours in the office to go home and get the account number and call to cancel. I spent severa hours dealing with that. I consider that company work related and not personal time.
I'm now being told I have to be charge a vacation day for the Friday I came in to the office because I didn't actually do any work. Is that legal since I was here but they didn't supply me a computer. I am a salaried employee? I will add they told me Monday about getting a loaner which I did.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.
Under MN law, accrued vacation is treated as a "wage earned" and an employer must either allow the employee to take the paid time off or pay the employee for the cash value of those days. See Lee v. Fresenius Medical Care, Inc., 741 N.W.2d 117 (Minn. 2007) Furthermore, employers can only deduct from a salaried employee's pay if the employee misses a FULL work day due to illness or personal reasons.
Here, you clearly worked, both because you were fixing the credit card issue for the benefit of your employer and because you were in the offer reading and answering emails on your phone. Therefore, your employer would not typically be able to deduct from your salary. Since they must pay you for your salary, they cannot count this day as a vacation day and take away a day of your accrued vacation, as this essentially amounts to a "forfeiture" of your vacation since you were already entitled to be paid for the day. So, this would typically be a circumstance in which your employer's conduct is unlawful.
I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
In your other question thread you asked:
"Thank you for answering my question. As a follow up, I told my employer I didn't want to have to take PTO, vacation day, for the day I came in because I needed to save it for later in the year. I said I guess I would just take it as unpaid no submitted my time off request as unpaid for the Friday I came into the office and worked a part day. What should I do if they approve the unpaid request or if they deny it and insist I use vacation time?
Thanks. Donna"
The answer here is that an employee cannot, as a matter of law, agree to waive their right to be paid. So, regardless of what you requested, you still technically have the right to be paid. Now, on a practical level you have to ask yourself how hard you want to push on this. It probably is not worth launching a lawsuit against your employer over one day's wages which you asked not to be paid for. This will cause serious harm to your employment relationship and in the "big picture" is just not a good idea, especially if you plan on staying with the company for a while. So, you can attempt to reason with your employer and let them know that you are legally entitled to be paid, but as far as your legal options go, they may not be worth asserting because under the circumstances.
I hope this clarifies things for you. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.
Very best wishes.