I have an exempt employee who was out for 4 days due to dental issues. He worked from home 2 of those 4 days on a company issued computer by responding to emails. Can I make him take 4 days of vacation time or do I have to pay for the 2 days he was working from home?
Ann Kiernan replies:
Federal wage and hour law says that, except in certain specified circumstances, an exempt employee must receive the full salary for any week in which the employee performs any work, regardless of the number of days or hours worked. However, the regulations contain seven exceptions to this salary basis, “no pay-docking” rule, one of which allows you to make deductions from salary of exempt employees who are absent from work for one or more full days due to sickness or disability, if deductions are made under a bona fide plan, policy or practice of providing wage replacement benefits for these types of absences.
As I read the regulations, you cannot make him use vacation days, but only sick days. And since he was working some of the time on two of those days, he should get regular salary for those days. You may want to check out the Department of Labor’s fact sheet on salary deductions.
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