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Can we dock pay if worker exceeds sick-Leave limit?

by on
in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. A salaried employee used all his vacation and sick time. He’s allowed 21 days and so far has used 22 this year. He wants to take more vacation in December and is always sick (so he’ll probably be out more). Can I deduct his pay if he’s out more? Or can I take days from next year? — R.E., Pennsylvania

A. If the employee is an exempt, salaried employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and has exhausted his available sick days, you can dock his salary only for full days—not partial days—that he takes off due to illness or disability. However, if the employee is taking off time for reasons that qualify under the FMLA, you can deduct any of that FMLA time (full or partial days) without jeopardizing his exemption.

Also, the FLSA states that you can dock exempt employees for full days (but not partial days) that they take 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 that the employee is treated consistent with your policy—and consistent with how you’ve previously treated other employees in similar situations.

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