half day vacations

Just wondering how others handle half day vacations. Our policy states that a half day of vacation will be paid for four hours. In our handbook we consider a half day the period before the lunch break or the period after the lunch break. Quite often we have employees requesting a half day off in the morning, then they come in well before lunch, start working, get paid for four hours plus the time they worked for the day. To me that's taking advantage of the company in order to be paid overtime as we count paid time used when computing overtime for the week. Any comments are apreciated.


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  • I would agree with your assessment of taking advantage and would definitely deal with that from a discipline standpoint. Unfortunately we allow vacation to be taken in as little as 1 hour increments but will under no circumstance allow an EE to work during the vacation time taken.
  • I think you need to deal with this in your policy. We would not allow this practice. Either you're on paid time off or you're working, but not both. In your case, we would just allow, say, three hours on vacation and five hours worked if the employee came in 3 hours into their shift.
  • Of course it's taking advantage of the company. If your policy manual is worded as you've indicated, I believe you're stuck in this case.

    However, why not change your policy manual? Unless you're stuck with a union it would be easy to state that as of now (today): Vacation Pay/Hours will have nothing to do with overtime. Employees will be paid for hours worked, period. Vacation Hours will be paid at regular pay rates.

    Also do away with the policy that states a half day is based on an employee's lunch time. The amount of time worked in a day has nothing to do with when an employee takes his/her lunch or dinner break.

    Get the employees to sign an acknowledgement of your new policy.
  • I agree don't have a policy that revolves around things like the lunch break, etc. Base the work day on the hours worked. When you're at work, you're working--when you're on vacation,you're on vacation--not working!

    I don't have a problem with employees using their vacation in hour increments, my experience over the years is that it usually makes an employee think about requesting the time off. Do they really want to use their vacation time for this? Is it important enough? If it is, then fine, that's what it's for. I've always found that employees who balance their lives in and out of work are more productive and have higher morale. We really stress family involvement in our work place (so alot of their kids are on teams, in school events, etc.), it seems to make for healthier employees who can make healthier relationships.

    However, I would not allow an employee to exploit the system the way you describe. If you can't adjust your policy--I would at least enforce it and not allow an employee to double-dip in the compensation pot!
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