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Exempt employee attendance policy

Exempt employee attendance policy

Exempt employee attendance policy

Are there any actual legal policies determining what constitutes a sick day, vacation day, etc. for exempt employees? Is it right for a company to not compensate you for extensive travel and yet dock you for sick time even if it is a necessary doctors appointment? Just wondering what actual Federal or otherwise documents might be out there. Thanks in advance.

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

Isn't all of this listed in your employee benefits handbook?

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."   
Albert Einstein
Have you read FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

Sorry, missed the last part.

I don't think there is a federal "definition" of sick days. At one company I worked for, they call them "Flex Days", which you can use if you are sick, need to go to the dentist/optometrist/PT Interview/etc. This way, you have an allotment of days, to use as you require, without specification. After you run out of these, it's onto vacation time.

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."   
Albert Einstein
Have you read FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

"Exempt" means that you are exempt from the onerous requirement of receiving most of the protections within the law (including overtime).  If you don't like that, you can get a non-exempt job (probably at a reduced salary and significantly reduced stature).  Otherwise, just shut up.  

I've spent my whole career watching people try to "get their rights" while in the same company with the same supervisor where I felt well treated.  I always took the time I needed to take.  The difference was I got my work done, if something needed to be done, I did it.

When I've had employees who demanded comp time for travel, I stopped sending them out of town.  When they started an "I need to go to the doctor" discussion with "I've been working a bunch of overtime and need to take an hour to go to the dentist, is that OK?" I always got really concerned and started watching their hours--typically they were the last to arrive in the morning and the first to leave in the evening and the only folks to take a regular break.  When someone came to me and said "gotta go to the doctor, be back when I get here", I knew their conscience was clear and I forgot about it.

If someone brought me a Dept of Labor guide book to show me they had the right to comp time or time off to take a kid to the doctor I immediately started doing two things: (1) complying absolutely with the letter of every word in the DOL regulations (there is some ugly stuff in there to protect both the employee and the employer); and (2) looking for a way to get rid of the barracks lawyer.  This only happened one time and the individual was transferred to another group within a month (the fact that she was fired from the other group 3 months later had nothing to do with me, I wasn't asked for a recommendation).

You've chosen to be a Mechanical Engineer.  With that choice comes pretty good money, challenging work assignments, and usually pretty good working conditions.  It also comes with 60 hour weeks when the work demands it and if you feel you must keep track of your overtime you are in the wrong line of work.


RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

Check this out...lots of answers to real world gray area questions.

Blue Technik LLC
Advanced Robotics & Automation Engineering

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

Thank you all for your responses. I've never worked a 40 hour week since I got out of college 20 years ago so that's not the problem. I guess it is the non-exempt employees that get an extra weeks vacation to use as sick days because I officially get unlimited sick days because I am exempt. That is until I'm sick for a day. Good thing I don't have enough time to be sick. I went to school so as not to have an ordinary job. At least I succeeded at that! I'll check the links just the same.

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

I guess some of us on the sidelines are keen to ask, what do you mean by exempt and non-exempt?


Greg Locock

Please see FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

typically in US "Exempt" means white collar salaried employees who are exempt from being paid overtime.  Kinda like slave labor or indentured servants.

"Non-Exempt" is typically hourly employees that must be paid overtime for more than 40 hours/week of work time, sometimes for more than 8hr/day.

Blue Technik LLC
Advanced Robotics & Automation Engineering

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

As I said above, "exempt" means that you are exempt from most of the Dept of Labor regulations.  You don't have to receive overtime, you are not required to be provided with regular work-breaks, etc.  Non-exempt means that the regulations apply to you.  Virtually all hourly workers are non-exempt.  Some salaried positions are "salaried non-exempt", but that is mostly for hourly people who have been promoted to a leadership position and they still come under the regulations (and must be paid overtime) but they are salaried.


RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

I seem to remember several years ago that engineering firms were allowing exempt employees to take additional time off, and docking their pay accordingly.  For example, if I used up my vacation time, I could take a Friday afternoon off and get paid 4 hours less that week, even though I don't really get paid hourly.  People were happy, they had a way to take time off when they needed. Then someone complained, and the ruling by Labor was that exempt employees could not be docked pay, as they were on salary. (Does it stil go on though? Duh.)
The firms had to pay a bunch of money retroactively.
But as far as Labor having policy on comp time or sick time, I have never seen a reg for exempt.  Companies are not required to give sick days or comp time.  But the company's policy helps me decide if I want to work there or not.
A company that expects me to travel extensively on my time, and doesn't want to negotiate comp time, I'm outta there.  And I spent part of my career traveling a lot.

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

I think it varies by state but to be exempt you do have to be paid something like at least twice minimum wage.  In return for this you're 'exempt' from a lot of labour laws as zdas says.

Also I've heard arguments that exempt is meant to apply mainly to management rather than just anyone being paid more than 2 X min wage.  Not sure what the law says on it though.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

In California, many firms classify new graduate engineers as exempt as to not pay overtime (time-and-a-half) but require 40 hour work week.  Their salaries are typically not high enough to be considered "exempt".  Hours beyond 40 hours a week are paid straight-time.  Variation of the same exists in different offices.

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

Good workers always get their way and much more.

I never call in late. when I am late, I just arrive late and then stay late if needed. If no rush, I still leave the office at regular time. As for going to the doctor, I just notify the boss, I don't ask for his permission. BUT, you got to walk the walk to take this kind of attitude. i.e deliver big time when needed.

When I work overtime, like taking over a project from someone who quit and squeeze it in my schedule. I don't ask the boss for comp time, it's the boss that comes to me and says that I should keep track of all that extra time. He usualy lets me charge a week or two of vacation time to that project.

Depends on who you work for, but don't bring that DOL Sh** to the boss, you are out ASAP.

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

Good attitude atlas06.


RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

Maybe it's time to find a new job.   Being an exempt employee has its advantages and its drawbacks If the management uses exempt status to basically treat engineers like slave labor then that is not the kind of company I would ever work for (for very long at least).

Right out of college I worked for a company that had an official policy on giving out sick time, but for exempt employess there was an unwritten policy-if you used the sick time that the company gave you it would be held against you at your next performance review.   You were expected to make up sick time and not use your allotted sick days.   Needless to say I didn't stay there too long.

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

Wow, I feel sorry for where some of you people work.  Just because you’re an engineer doesn’t mean you should be expected to work 60 hours every week.  If you are working 60 hours every week your company needs to hire more employees.  I have a simple policy at my company, time is valuable.  I expect my employees to work when they are here, I also expect them to not think about work when they go home.  If they need to work over 40 hours then they should be compensated for it.   Why should I bill out their time to our clients and keep all the money?  They worked the hours they should be paid for it.  While I have some old timers in my office that started their careers in engineering sweat shops I encourage them not to work past 40 hours.  Life is too short to be at work all the time.   

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

"Good workers always get their way and much more."

Oh to be that naive again.  

I used to think that working hard and achieving was what mattered etc.

In fact at my last employer in the UK it worked out really well for me.

However, at my current employer it just isn’t that simple.  It works pretty well up to a certain level but then policies come down from above that completely scupper it.

Then again maybe the problem is my employer not the philosophy.

BRGENG, any openings winky smile

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

I always enjoyed reading your UK perspective of things on this forum.
US statistics indicate the following (heck I read it somewhere):
1. Most companies have 15% of workers that could be fired out right and the result will be a better production at the company - That's 15% that do a lot less than is expected of them.

2. Most companies have up to 70% of people who do just enough to get by, i.e. enough to keep their job.

3. Most companies have 15% of workers that do much more than is expected of them.

See which category you belong in.

and finally, most comapies with a vision try very hard to identify No.1 to get rid of them ASAP (even if the company is very busy), and No.3 to do whatever it takes to keep them.

When you are a identified as a franchise player as they say in the NFL (i.e.among the top 15%), then you'll get your way and much more.

Good luck.

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

Wow, I rarely een ask to leave for an appt (unless it is in the middle of the day).  I just put it on my calendar that I will be leaving early for an appt and talk to people I am working with before I leave to make sure they don't need anything from me before I take off.

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

I might caution you that some people may not know that you are ok with them leaving for an appt and feel the need to justify it to you before they do so.  This is probably more a matter of personality than of not being good workers.  Just because someone comes to you and starts off with how much they've been doing and do you mind if they leave for an appt doesn't mean they are poor workers.  It could very easily be that they don't yet know your expectations for their time in the office.  
I am rather timid and often asked when I first started (though I never started by saying how hard I've been working).  That being said, I think it is more a matter of personality than work ethic.

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

Atlas, glad someone likes my ramblings.

I wonder how those 3 categories work in a very specialized field?

My company works in precision measurement.  The stars of the show are mostly the scientists and a few of the top engineers that are developing the new techniques, methods technology etc.

In my current position of drawing checking & design verification for the more mundane mechanical items I don't think it would matter how over acheiving I am/was I'll never hit cat 3 because it's not perceived my many as critical to the company.  Heck, wasn't long ago my now Director who claims to value me & my role was supposedly telling the board of directors that I was firmly in cat 1!

Like I said though, I think it may be the company, hence I'm keeping an eye out.

That said my direct manager does value me etc and I've actually got pretty flexible hours.  I'll let him know I'm gonna be out but I don't normally ask permission unless I think there may be an issue.  He also kicks me out early last day of the week sometimes too!

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: Exempt employee attendance policy

That's strange if, as it sounds, your employer docked part of your pay for going to a dr. appointment.

I've went to a lot of doctor's appointments in my career and I've never been docked for it. Did you mention to your manager that you were leaving and that you'd stay a little late to make it up?


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