As a salaried employee can my employer dock my pay or make me take 4 hours of vacation?

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As a salaried employee can my employer dock my pay or make me take 4 hours of vacation?

My husband’s grandfather died and I wanted to attend the funeral. My job stated that I was not eligible for bereavement leave since he was not “my” grandfather. They also told me that when I leave for the funeral, I would have to fill out a vacation slip for 4 hours or they would not pay me for that time. As a salaried employee, are they allowed to do that?

Asked on August 10, 2011 Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, an employer is allowed to do this. The fact of the matter is that an employera can control if an when vacation time is taken. PTO (i.e. sick time; vacation time) is not an automatic benefit.  It is discretionary. Legally an employer may or may not provide it.  So while employees believe that they have the right to use any banked or unused time whenever they please but this is simply not the case.  Under the law it is lperfectly permissable for an employer to deny requests to use PTO, as well as mandating when and how such time is to be used (as in your situation).  Bottom line, if you refuse to so use your vacation time in this way, you may be docked the 4 hours pay (or even be terminated).

Note:  If there is a union/government contract contrary to this, it will control.  Or if you think that there has been some form of discrimination, then you may have a case. Or if this action violates your employer's own PTO policy, you would have a claim.


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