Exempt employee Pay

An exempt employee is out sick for the week has 8 hours sick time and uses it then comes in and works 2 unauthorized hours at end of week are we requred to pay them for the whole week?


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  • This assumes the employee did not have an FMLA qualifying event:

    Yes. You must pay them, but you are not without recourse.

    Some companies let employees go into a negative leave balance. If you operate this way, the employee's next earned hours would apply toward the negative balance until it is caught up. This is a lot to keep track of though (especially if the employee leaves before the balance is caught up), so I do not recommend negative leave balances.

    If your policies allow, you can also apply vacation time towards the time off. Your situation is one of the reasons we have PTO instead of handling sick and vacation separately. The deduction of leave from the PTO balance would be automatic.

    Finally, you can discipline this employee for excessive absenteeism (if that is what really happened.) Again, this assumes they were gone for a head cold or something similar, and not an ADA or FMLA qualifying event (and that they have been employed long enough to accrue more than 8 hours sick leave).

    If it qualifies for FMLA, you do not have to pay them for the hours they did not work and had no leave for.

    Good luck!

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