Event Archive

Federal Exemption Guidelines for Salaried Employees

Contact Info

Landegger Baron Law Group

Marie D. Davis, Esq.

marie@landeggeresq.com

15760 Ventura Blvd., Suite 1200
Encino, California 91436
(818) 986-7561

NOVATIME TECHNOLOGY, INC.

Scott Rose, Enterprise Sales

scott.rose@novatime.com

1440 Bridgegate Dr., Suite 300
Diamond Bar, California 91765
(909) 895-8100 ext. 152

Questions & Answers:

Q1

When talking about the minimum weekly pay, is that $ amount adjusted based on FTE or scheduled hours? For example, if we have an accountant that only works 10 hrs/wk, do we adjust the $455 to $113.75? Or does that $455 apply to all employees without exception?

A1

For the federal rule, the $455 applies to all employees without exception.

Q2

exempt employee receives 4 weeks vacation but wants to take, lets say 6 weeks and doesn’t want to be in the hole 2 weeks accrual. They would prefer to take two weeks non paid. Is that allowed?

A2

Yes. If they take time off for personal reasons, it can be unpaid time.

Q3

If you have an exempt employee that takes time off for a partial day does the employer have the right to require the employee to record sick or vacation time?

A3

This is a State governed rule. In California, yes, you can deduct from their PTO bank.

Q4

We are public sector. Isn't there a rule that says exempt public sector/government employees can be docked for less than full day absences--or if they overused earned leave?

A4

This again is governed by State Rules. Under the Federal Rules, if they take leave for personal reasons, yes, you can deduct from their pay. If they take leave for sick or disability, you cannot.

Q5

: Can you review for paying exempt employees for a payweek when there is a business closure? e.g. We close for a full pay week during the holidays, and employees do not work. we were told that if the business is closed for an entire work week, we can make the exempt employees use PTO to cover that time and do not have to pay them as we normally would; however, if we are open for at least one workday during that week, we would need to pay the exempt employees. Please advise.

A5

That is an accurate statement. If there is a full week where the business is shut down and there is no work, there is no requirement to pay salaried employees for that week.

Q6

We were advised that we can ask our exempt employees to use PTO in a minimum of half day increments. Were we advised incorrectly, or has that rule changed at some time? (We are in CA.)

A6

In CA, that is correct if an exempt employee is taking time off for personal reasons, then yes, you may deduct for their PTO bank, up until they have exhausted from their PTO bank. Once their PTO bank is exhausted, you may deduct from their pay, but this is highly ill advised, contact Marie before doing this.

Q7

I have heard conflicting information on whether an unlicensed or licensed social worker is considered exempt under the professional exemptions. Can you speak to this?

A7

In California, they are not exempt. On the federal level, they may be exempt depending on other factors and their adherence to their requirements. Contact Marie for more information.

Q8

Is "primary duty" considered to be 80% or more, or 51% or more spent in conducting that duty?

A8

“Primary duty”, legally, is 51%. In the real world, where you are going to court, it is absolutely the safest for it to be closer to 80%.

Q9

Does the automotive industry have a different set of FLSA rules that apply to their employees?

A9

Please refer to Department of Labor Fact Sheet #11 for more information on this. I would also be sure to refer to State law.

Q10

Under the federal guidelines, can an employer require an exempt employee to work a minimum number of hours per day? Or is the employee's salary based on a work week?

A10

You must pay employees no matter what. You may reprimand an employee if they are not performing their expected duties (such as not staying in office for an agreed upon number of hours). However, to reiterate, they must always be paid the same if they are exempt.

And yes, you can require your employees to be at work between a set number of hours and discipline them for failing to adhere to those rules.

Q11

So does the revised white collar exemption apply now, or is it still on hold?

A11

On hold.

Q12

in public sector, if the exempt employee is offered comp time for hours over 40 in a week, should those hours be earned at hour for hour or 1.5 for every hour?

A12

Please refer to the following link for more guidance on this question: https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/overtime-government.pdf

Q13

If an exempt employee takes intermittent FMLA leave to care for a dependent, can they doc the incremental hours out such as taking 2 hours off.

A13

Yes.

Q14

When talking about the minimum weekly pay, is that $ amount adjusted based on FTE or scheduled hours? For example, if we have an accountant that only works 10 hrs/wk, do we adjust the $455 to $113.75? Or does that $455 apply to all employees without exception?

A14

$455 applies without exception.