Salary employments time off rights

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Salary employments time off rights

I signed up with an employer when I was offered a verbal contract about a year ago. I was told I would work 9-5 Monday through Friday, no weekends, for a specific yearly amount. In January of this year, he changed it unexpectedly and said that I now have to work at least 1 Saturday a month and 9-6, with 10 days of PTO time to use for vacation or illness. I have exhausted this by this month and needed to leave 4 hours early for a personal reason. Although I work more than 40 hours a week with my Saturday time, he calculated my hourly rate and deducted it from this paycheck. I was under the impression as a salary worker, he cannot do that unless it’s over 1 day. I was also under the impression that I don’t have to work weekends unless I want to. What are my rights?

Asked on October 4, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) Unless you have a written employment contract setting your schedule for a definite term (e.g. a one-year contract, locking in your schedule for that year), your employer may change your schedule at will. This is part of "employment at will" (which is the rule whenever there is no written contract): the employer, not the employee, controls all aspects of the job, including the schedule.
2) Similarly, as part of the employer's control over the schedule, the employer can require you to work weekends any times it wants to--there is no legal restriction on having employees work weekends (or on holidays, for that matter), and no requirement that the employee must agree to the weekend work. The employer may make you work weekends if it wants.
3) You are correct, however, that your employer may not deduct from your pay for missing hours from work, the same as--since you are salaried--he is not required to pay you extra when you work extra hours. As a salaried employee, as you point out, he can only debit your pay when you miss an entire day of work.
There is no good way to get the money, however, if the employer will not voluntarily pay it: to force the employer to pay, you'd have to take legal action, such as suing the employer; but whether it is worth doing so for four hours of pay is unclear.


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