As a salaried employee who is required to work some weekends without pay, can my employer refuse to pay me while out sick?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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As a salaried employee who is required to work some weekends without pay, can my employer refuse to pay me while out sick?

I work as a planner salaried. I tend to work 10 plus hours daily and required to work every third weekend Saturday/Sunday without pay. I have been sick at home and my HR emailed saying I ran out of personal days so I needed to use vacation and if I run out of vacation I will not get paid for any further time. How is it possible to be salaried but required to work weekends without pay but yet will not get paid if I’m sick during the week?

Asked on October 19, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, there is the law: when a salaried employee misses an entire day at work, the employer does not need to pay him or her unless he or she used paid time off (e.g. sick or vacation days) to cover the time. And yes, at the same time, as you note, a salaried employee can be made to work additional days or hours without any additional compensation--salaried employees can be made to work 24/7 for the same pay as working 40 hours over 5 days. It is unfair, but it is legal.

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