Q. If a salaried employee has used up all vacation and sick time, yet wants to take more vacation or calls in sick, can we make deductions from his pay? If not, what can we do? We don’t want the employees getting out of hand.
A. If the employee is an exempt, salaried individual under the Fair Labor Standards Act (), you can dock his salary only for full days—not partial days—taken off due to illness or disability when the employee has exhausted his available sick days under your policy. However, note that if the employee is taking off time pursuant to the , you can deduct any FMLA time (full or partial days) without jeopardizing his exemption.
Also, under the FLSA, anmay be docked for full days (but not partial days) taken “for personal reasons.” However, if your vacation policy permits employees to obtain advance days for vacation that will be charged against next year’s allotment, make sure you treat the employee in a way that is consistent with your policy—and consistent with how you have treated other employees in similar situations.