Docked hours for a salaried or exempt employee

I am a salaried "exempt" employee. We do not get paid for over-time and most recently had management changes who have instructed us that working from home has to be approved, this happens on a case by case basis, if not counted as time off. Can I be docked for time off if I have no more sick time or vacation time left even though I am a salaried "exempt" employee who in a typical week works more than 40 hours. And If I just so happened to work from home a total of approximately 10 hours within or just prior to that work week, but they were not pre-approved, can this be taken into consideration.

2 answers  |  asked Aug 23, 2001 9:30 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (2)

Outten & Golden LLP

Dear Ms. Anoceto:

Before answering any of your specific questions, an experienced employment lawyer would need to know if you are subject to an employment contract and/or employee handbook. Outside of these considerations, generally speaking, an "exempt" employee does not have a legal "right" to work from home or be compensated for work outside the office.

You may be able to secure better working conditions for yourself by retaining an experienced employment lawyer. We have extensive experience in negotiating with employers and can offer services of this type on an hourly fee basis. If you are interested in retaining our firm, please feel free to telephone us at 212-245-1000 and ask to speak to Melissa Arthur, who manages our intake process.

posted by Outten & Golden LLP  |  Aug 28, 2001 08:43 AM [EST]
David M. Lira
When are you really exempt?

The Fair Labor Standards Act has some interesting ins and outs that often make giving firm answers difficult.

With respect to unapproved at home work, I am not exactly sure what a court might due in a case under the FLSA, although my gut tells me that the court would tend to find the need to get approval to do work at home as proof that you are a non-exempt employee.

With respect to docking you, the answer is a little clearer. If the employer docks you for complete days you are not at the office, that would be ok. If the employer docks you for part days, that would tend to show that you are a non-exempt employee. So, if the employer docks you for one hour because you left at 4 PM, rather than 5 PM, to do 3 hours of extra work at home, you might not be entitled to compensation for the 3 hours at home, because you did not get approval, but you would likely be entitled to overtime compensation for extra time you put in at the office on the other four days of that week and for the other days during other weeks as well.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Aug 27, 2001 10:19 AM [EST]

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