Can employers deduct vacation time for snow days?

My employer called a snow day last winter and phoned all of the employees telling us to not come in because of the weather. The next day I went to work and was informed that everyone had to put in a time off request for the previous day and that 8 hours of vacation time would be deducted. They also have shut-down days at various times throughout the year, usually around Christmas and employees are deducted 8 hours of vacation time for each mandatory shut-down day. Can they deduct accrued vacation time for days that they aren't open due to weather or a pre-determined shut-down period?

1 answer  |  asked Aug 3, 2009 4:28 PM [EST]  |  applies to Massachusetts

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
Vacation is pay for time that you do not work. An employer generally has no obligation to provide vacation and, when it does, it can set the terms and conditions for it's use. Therefore, an employer can generally require employees to use vacation during furloughs, shut downs or times other than those chosen by the employee.

An employer who changes an exempt, salaried employee's salary runs the risk of losing the professional, executive or administrative exemption for overtime purposes. However, requiring an employee to use up vacation due to lack of work will probably not jeopardize the salaried exemption.

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Aug 4, 2009 08:42 AM [EST]

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