What are a salaried employee’s rights?

I just recently went to salary and the rules to my vacation time has changed with doing so. As a regular part time worker I could use my vacation time whenever I needed for sick days, etc. Now I’ve been told I have to use all of my vacation time at once. With this new set up I get no sick time no PTO time, nothing. I’m now also told as salary I have to work holidays with my regular pay because I’m salary which is fine but when on hourly part-time I would have gotten time and a half. I have also worked over time days I’m not schedule stayed late ext with no overtime or able to take off early to make up for the overtime. I’m confused on where I stand as a now salary paid employee and what my rights are?

Asked on March 29, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A salaried employee is what is known as "exempt". This means that they are exempted from protection under federal/state laws reglating to overtime pay. In other words, they can be scheduled to work as many hours as their employer deems necessary...and without any additional compensation. Accordingly, based on what you have written no laws appear to have been broken. Additionally, vacation (or PTO) is a discretionary benefit. This means that an employer does not have to legally provide it. To the extent that it does, it has a great deal of say over when and how it can be used. This is known as "at will" employment. Therefore, unless this action violates company policy, an employment contract or union agreement it is perfectly permissable. Further, your treatment must not constitute some form of legal discrimination. That all having been said, with regards to your exempt status, many times employers change an employee from non-exempt to exempt status when in fact they are not. This means that they should still be receiving overtime pay if their job duties have not changed; this might be the case in your situation. For a further explanation of your rights, here is a link to a site that will explain further:

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