I am a exempt employee, and have been with the company for years. My last day worked was/20/2013. I have been out sick and with my doctors notes and written excuse. I have 7 hours of sick time and 40 hours of vacation time yet I was told I cannot use them. And they put it as unpaid leave. Can they do that? They require us to work a 45 hours a week.And most of the time I am pulling right at 50 hours a week and still don't get paid overtime.Is that legal?
While I am not entirely clear on your issue regarding sick/vacation time, I will do my best to address with the following.
For starters, you should know that the state of Louisiana has not enacted its own laws regarding overtime pay or minimum wage. As a result, workers in Louisiana are only protected by the federal wage and hour regulations contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The manner in which an employee is paid does not determine their right to overtime pay. Merely being paid a salary does not exempt an employee from the overtime rules. Rather, it is an employee’s job duties that determine if they are exempt or not. So, the first thing you should look at is whether you are correctly classified as "exempt" from overtime or not. http://www.overtime-flsa.com/i%E2%80%99m-salaried-how-many-hours-can-my-employer
A non-exempt salaried employee is an employee who is paid a salary but is still subject to the minimum wage and overtime laws; i.e., is not exempt. These employees must be paid overtime even though they are paid on a salary basis.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), certain salaried administrative employees are not required to be paid overtime wages. Employers are restricted from making deductions from an exempt salaried employee's pay except under certain circumstances. The following links to the U.S. Department of Labor provide an overview of some of the most common exemptions as well as a discussion regarding deductions and accrued leave banks deductions for exempt employees:
I hope this information is helpful and provides you with a good start on addressing your specific situation. Here is a link to the Louisiana Workforce Commission labor law resources: http://www.laworks.net/LaborLawInfo.asp
For further assistance you may want to contact the US Department of Labor [1-866-4-USA-DOL / www.dol.gov]since the Louisiana Workforce Commission apparently refers workers to the DOL with regard to claims for unpaid overtime wages.