As a non-exempt employee, if I work over 40 hours in a given week do I still need to use PTO time to take 2 hours for a doctor’s appointment?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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As a non-exempt employee, if I work over 40 hours in a given week do I still need to use PTO time to take 2 hours for a doctor’s appointment?

I completed a 40 hour work week a few weeks ago. I worked 12.75 hours 1 day, and later in the week, came in at 11 am after a doctor’s appointment. At the end of the week, I completed 40.25 hours of work that week 37.25

straight time so OT not in question, but took three separate hour long lunches on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, which is allowed, and ducked out a little early that Friday since I had hit my hour mark. Even though I completed my 40 hour requirement, my employer docked me 2 hours of PTO time for the appointment I had from 9-11 am 1 day. Can they do that even though I still completed working 40 hours in a week? What they are saying is that even though I worked 12.75 hours one day, I can’t make up the 2 hours I missed with the additional hours I worked earlier in the week.

Asked on October 5, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

They are correct: there is no right to miss work then "make it up" some other time that week for hourly employees. Hourly employees are paid for all hours that they do in fact work; and at the same time, if they miss work (e.g. scheduled hours) can be required to use PTO they earned to cover the missed hours. Your employer, not you, determines you hours; if you miss hours they wanted you at work, they may take action for it, such as requiring the use of PTO. Your right to be paid for all hours worked and your obligation to work the hours your employer assigns are independent of each other: you could theoretically miss work entirely Monday and Tusday, then work 16 hours each Wed. through Friday and have to use 16 hours of PTO for Mon. & Tuesday while also being paid for 40 hours of straight time and 8 hours of overtime for Wed. to Friday.

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