Exempt EE working from home while on Disability

We have an Exempt employee that had surgery and is recovering from home. She is collecting disability at this time. She will be able to do some of her duties from home soon and would like to do so while she is collecting her disability. Can we convert her to an Non Exempt employee and pay her an hourly wage for the work that she does while at home? I understand that she will have to report her income to the insurance company that is providing her disability payments so that they can deduct it from her payment. I just don't want to get into any hot water over not paying her for a full day since she is Exempt right now.

I also read that if the amount of work is "de minimus" that we don't have to pay her for the work that she's doing. How much would be considered more than "de miminmus" before we would need to pay her? Thank you.


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  • I forgot to mention that we have less than 50 EE's so we don't fall under the FMLA rules at this time.
  • Hi Tiffany,
    I am NO expert here and hope those who are will jump in, but here are my thoughts.
    1) I would forget de minimus here. I just don't think it is applicable or appropriate
    2) what are the employees restrictions that prohibit her from being at work? STD or LTD? If you are "sick" enough to collect disability, I worry a bit about her being well enough to work, but know it could happen and you are right she would have to report her wage.
    3) is she on FMLA? I believe that is an exception to having to pay a full day and would not jeopardize her exempt status.
  • [email]tiffany.trice@venatore.com[/email]

    Your first post! Welcome to the Forum. :welcome:

  • "de minimus" is a vague legal term so no one knows what it is until it has been proven in court. Here we consider pretty much anything under 15 minutes as not enough to count as a worked day for exempt employees.

    You can pay your employee for specific work, or temporarily reassign her to a part time job that pays hourly and is made up of only some of the duties of her regular job, especially if you are trying to reasonably accommodate her. Be careful though, you can run into trouble if too many of her 'exempt' duties are being done from home.

    Good luck!
  • Thanks for all the replies. It turns out that working while on STD is policy specific. Our STD policy does not allow for any work while out on STD so it looks like I'll have to inform her manager that she cannot work at all while out.
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