If you are a salaried employee and you miss work do they still have to pay you?

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If you are a salaried employee and you miss work do they still have to pay you?

I haven’t actually worked in the office but my employer has called and texted several times while out on doctors care and had me to work for home on my computer one of the days for about 2 hours. I am on salary and the first week I worked in the office Mon-Wed and went to the doctor on Thursday and the doctor kept me off work. Does my employer still owe me for Thursday and Friday since he called and texted me? And then the next week had he had me work on Monday from my home computer about 2 hours and called and texted me off and on that wee. Does he still owe me for that week since he calls and texts me all the time?

Asked on September 26, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Technically, any day that a salaried employee works at all he or she should be paid his or her daily salary. Generally, responding to mandatory employer emails or texts--i.e. ones you have to respond to--are work, so while it is impossible to say for certain without a more detailed analysis, at first glance it would appear you are owed your salary for any days you "worked" by responding to messages from your supervisor or employer.

That said, if  you don't have an employment contract, you are an employee at will, which means you may be fired at any time, for any reason--such as not being a team player. If you press for pay for days that you only worked a few minutes, or perhaps an hour or two, you may find that your employer will pay you, but then terminate you. While you might then be able to bring an action for illegal or improper termination, on the grounds you were retaliated against for a wage claim, it's not clear you would win under these circumstances. Therefore you should think carefully about what is in your interest here--you company apparently tried to accomodate you, so possibly retaining a job with a company which will do this is more important than seeking a few days pay.


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