When can an exempt employee be docked for sick time?

A CA exempt salaried employee engaged in sales was hospitalized and underwent surgery. Was off work 5 days, checked work email and voice mail messages, forwarding to her boss 3 out of the 5 days. She was docked for 5 days. Is that legal?

Posted 01-12-2010

Ann Kiernan replies:

It doesn’t sound legal to me, based on what you have stated. Under federal and California law, salaried employees are supposed to be paid full salary if they do any work in the week, and it looks like she worked 3 days. You may want to check with a local wage and hour office.


Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Ann Kiernan has litigated claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination before state and federal courts and administrative matters before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, representing both employers and employees. Ms. Kiernan co-hosted The Employee Rights Forum, a weekly radio call-in show reaching up to a half-million listeners in the New York metropolitan area, and her articles on employment law have been published in many books and magazines. Both as a firm partner and as a director, Ms. Kiernan gained solid experience in management and human resources compliance. She has worked with Fair Measures since 1997.