Salaried employee who is pregnant

I have a salaried employee who has been employed with us for 6
months. She has exhausted her sick leave that was on the books. 
She is pregnant and needs to be out for doctor appts., etc. for a
couple of hours per day - sometimes over the course of 2-3 days per
week? How should I be tracking her time if she is out? Our company is
under 50 employees so we do not fall under the FMLA rulings. I
understand that I can not "dock" her pay for the hours she is out since
she is salaried (if it is not a full day).  Please advise.



  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • You need to treat her the same way you would treat any other employee with a temporary disability (under the federal Pregnancy Disability Act). The PDA applies to employers with 15 or more employees. A woman unable to work for pregnancy-related reasons is entitled to sick leave and other benefits on the same basis as employees who are temporarily disabled for other medical reasons and unable to work.Look at how you track employee time for other absences. Some states also have laws that apply to pregnant employes (beyond family leave), so check your state law too.

    In California, we have the Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDLA). The PDLA requires that employers with 5 or more employees grant a woman a pregnancy disability leave (PDL) of a "reasonable period of time" up to 4 months, which equals the total number of days the employee would normally work within a 4-month period (depending on her actual period of disability). PDL may be taken on an intermittent schedule when medically advisable, as determined by the healthcare provider. The leave may be taken during pregnancy and before or after birth, as needed.

  • This question is an example of a common misconception. You can dock her for the hours that she is out. The consequence is that she will no longer be paid ona salary basis and would be a non-exempt employee who must be paid overtime if she works more than 40 hours in a week. It sounds like she isn't working 40 hours, so there would be no consequences as far as overtime pay is concerned.

    But because she is pregnant, you have to be careful. As a small company, you may never had a salaried employee taking intermittant leave for reasons other than being pregnant. If there is a precedent follow that. If there isn't a precedent, weigh the costs and risks of docking and of not docking and choose the one with the lowest combination of costs and risks.

  • PWilliamson --- could you not document it under a notation section on your computer tracking for time & attendance or somewhere in the payroll system.  It just would note that the employee was off a couple of hours for dr. appt.?
  • Although checking into state and federal law regarding pregnancy is definitely a must, have you looked into offering flexible scheduling?  Perhaps if she is able to come in early and leave earlier, she could schedule doctor's appointments after work instead.  However, you would have to offer flex schedules to all eligible employees and create specific guidelines that state exempt employees on flex schedules may be called into work and/or have to be available to other employees during normal business hours. 

  • I still think the bottom line question hasn't been answered.  If you have a salaried employee and they go beyond their alloted sick and vacation time, you can not dock their pay.  Unless you move them to non-exempt as you suggest.  Correct?
Sign In or Register to comment.