Can my employer dock earned vacation from salaried employees for clocking out before set ‘core hours’

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my employer dock earned vacation from salaried employees for clocking out before set ‘core hours’

I work in Maine for a government contractor. My employer has started docking
earned vacation from salaried employees for clocking in late, or clocking out
early. They are basing this off of ‘core hours’, which they just enacted. They
are docking the vacation at a rate of .1 hours for every 1 minute late/early 6
minute for every 1 minute. As an example, I clocked in 20 minutes before the
‘core hours’ start time and accidentally clocked out 1 minute early. They docked
.1 hour from my vacation time, even though I clocked in early. Is this legal?

Asked on October 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Maine


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

While unusual, it appears to be legal. A salaried employee's base salary cannot be docked, but that protection does not extend to vacation time. Employers do not need to provide any vacation at all; it is voluntary on their part to give employees vacation. They are accordingly free to set the rules for how vacation time is accrued, and may include a provision docking it for missing core hours, so long as that provision is made known to employees.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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