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Employment Law/Salary exempt and low census in a hospital


I work as a full time, exempt physical therapist at a hospital. When the census is low and I do not have enough patients for more than 4 hours of work I go home. I understand that it is common for the employer to charge 4 hours of PTO to make my time card "whole". My question is, is there any reason why I could not be given the option to use low census instead of PTO?
I look forward to hearing from you.

If you are paid as an exempt employee on a salary you must be paid if you work any part of the day. This is why they use PTO.

If you are a non exempt employee they are paying you PTO so you will not be short time.

If you are non exempt ask if the company allows you to take time off without pay for those slow times. This would not be a law but a company policy.


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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).


30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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