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Employment Law/Employment Law FLSA


Here’s a not-so hypothetical situation:
An Ohio company closes for an ‘unpaid’ holiday…let’s say Christmas Eve. (Christmas Day is a paid holiday.)
Exempt employees are told to submit Paid Time Off (PTO) paperwork if they want to be paid for the ‘unpaid’ holiday.
The company has no policy prohibiting employees performing work from home during ‘time off’.
One exempt employee does not submit PTO paperwork, and performs some work from home on the ‘unpaid’ holiday, documenting the work done.
1.   Per FLSA, is this company permitted to deduct any pay for the ‘unpaid’ holiday for this exempt employee?
2.   Would this answer also apply to other ‘unpaid’ time for a full day off for personal business reasons (sick child, family emergency, plumbers, roofers, etc.) where the exempt employee performs work from home and documents it?

Dear George - Being an exempt employee used to mean something positive, but it's advantages have withered over the decades.  The general rule is that, regardless of the number of hours worked, exempt employees have to receive their weekly salary.  There are exceptions - time taken off for purely personal reasons, FMLA days, sick days if the employee's sick leave has been exhausted.  Employees can also be told they must use PTO for days that they do not work for reasons such as the one you mention - a company closing.  However, if work is performed from home for any amount of time more than a de minimis amount like ten minutes - that must be counted as a work day and the weekly salary is owed, assuming the employee worked the other four days.  

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Margaret M. deMarteleire


I can answer most questions about employment law, federal or state. I am an attorney, not an HR professional, so questions about HR careers, coursework, prospects, etc. are not within my scope.


Attorney for 20 years, currently working exclusively with employment law - FLSA, FMLA, federal contracts, pay, etc.

Temple University School of Liberal Arts, BA, Rhetoric & Communication, 1982 Temple University School of Law, JD, 1990 Certificate in HR, Cornell University ILR School, 2006

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