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BlueGables

Salaried position and time off

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I hope I'm giving a clear version of this scenario. 

Salaried position with (X) vacation weeks, (X) sick days and (X) personal days, all generous and up to recent standards. This salaried position heard from an accountant outside this particular business that if a salaried person came to work and within minutes threw up and went home,  they could still call that a day of work. Come in for few hours but spend rest of day at doctor appt or taking relative to doctors appt., still a day of work. What would be a 'reasonable' amount of times this 'rule' (or version of this kind of day) could be played out? Is this a standard policy? When would it be seen as breaking the "spirit of the law?"

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My company had this policy - it was called the "touch desk" policy. It was up to the manager to decide. Remarkably, I only knew one person out of many (about 70 in our group) who abused it. Honestly, most of my colleagues worked their tails off.

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18 minutes ago, linders said:

My company had this policy - it was called the "touch desk" policy. It was up to the manager to decide. Remarkably, I only knew one person out of many (about 70 in our group) who abused it. Honestly, most of my colleagues worked their tails off.

There is no "policy" on this for this business. Obviously that may need to be re-thought. I haven't been in the work force in quite some time and honestly never worked with anyone who treated their salaried position this way.  What would constitute "abuse?"  Once a week? Once a month? once a quarter? 

 

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I’m familiar with a salary position that also has an expected minimum workweek. After leaving from being sick at work, the rest of the day would be leave time. There is a little flex time within the same pay period. So perhaps an hour off for a personal appointment can be balanced by coming in early the next day. There is occasional overtime but no compensation for that. This position has to bill each work hour to a client or to company overhead.

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Honestly, IMO doing this only once should be treated as receiving a generous gift.  Doing it more - especially on purpose - is completely unethical in my opinion.  I'm sure every employer has a different tolerance level for it, but I wouldn't dare push it.  Even if the employer literally does not care (like maybe it's a government job that nobody actually cares about), the co-workers will care.

What I do think is OK is if you can take your work home and make up for the time you got paid as if you were in the office.

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Not something I've heard of, but DH is only in his 3rd position in 22 years, so maybe other industries or jobs have other guidelines. At DH's current job, if he takes half a day for a doctor visit....it counts as half a day leave/vacation/whatever. To count as a sick day, he has to have a doctor's note.  If he puts in less than 4 hours, and can't make it up at home, then it's a whole day; if he puts in four hours, it's a half day, if he put in more than maybe 6 hrs he could probably take the remaining 2 w/o it counting. 

What he does have is the ability to work alternate hours -- so, he can run the kids to class/appointments and not go in to work until 9, as long as he then works until 6 (or makes it up through the week, or at home). Or he can take off at 3 one day if he works late another. Etc. But no, I've never heard of a "touch the desk" policy as someone called it, where just showing up means you don't have to count the time off, at all. 

I think once/month would be reaching the level of noticeable; anything more would begin to be abusing the policy/practice, for sure. 

 

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23 minutes ago, SKL said:

Honestly, IMO doing this only once should be treated as receiving a generous gift.  Doing it more - especially on purpose - is completely unethical in my opinion.  I'm sure every employer has a different tolerance level for it, but I wouldn't dare push it.  Even if the employer literally does not care (like maybe it's a government job that nobody actually cares about), the co-workers will care.

What I do think is OK is if you can take your work home and make up for the time you got paid as if you were in the office.

re:bold

So safe to say that if it is used once a week or a couple of times a month, you would have an issue? Understandably, you could see where employee morale would be affected?

 

 

Edited by BlueGables
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1 hour ago, BlueGables said:

This salaried position heard from an accountant outside this particular business

an accountant - not HR

outside this particular business - so an entirely different company

 

if your company doesn't have a written policy, you would still need to discuss it with whomever should have authority over such a policy.  either HR, or your manager.

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For salaried, where I work, if you do any work that day you should be paid for it. It could be just checking one e-mail from home and count for full pay.

Edited by kdsuomi
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Depending on how flexible the place is, I would keep track informally and occasionally turn in a day of sick leave or vacation to make up for several days like that.  In past jobs I would have to turn in forms accounting for missing either 4 or 8 hours of work. But not all places keep track that closely and they really don't care about every missed hour, I'd say go ahead and take advantage of it...but only when absolutely necessary.

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I've always worked salaried positions. If you came in, worked 1 hour and fell ill and left, you wrote down 7 hours sick (assuming you had an 8 hour work day). I never filled out a time card, but I sometimes I did have to charge my time to different projects/categories. But you still reported weekly your sick, vacation, and personal time. 

Any time you take off from normal work time, you noted it to whatever category it belonged - sick, personal time, vacation.

But ... often you worked over (because salary = you still have to get your work complete so you often ended up working more than 40 hours/week). So often you would talk with your boss, note you worked 60 hours last week due to emergency situation, so you are taking one day off as comp time. A good boss would say fine. A good employee would only take the comp time when there were not emergency situations or a heavy load of work to do. 

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I have heard of this approach, it's pretty much true in the jobs my dh has had when we've been married, and some I've had.  I always assumed it was just easier than trying to keep track of the occasions when it happens and partial days.

As for abuse - really, it's abuse if it's not in good faith.  If it seemed to be happening a lot, I'd be wondering, and asking, what was going on with the person's health, and whether they were coming in because they knew their sick days would not be enough.

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When you're salaried and exempt, you're being paid for doing a job and not for the hours worked, which is why many companies have this policy. 

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4 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

When you're salaried and exempt, you're being paid for doing a job and not for the hours worked, which is why many companies have this policy. 

What policy?

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My husband and I have worked at companies with generous sick leave and personal leave and those get abused by some people.

Scenario 1 frontline fixed hours service type of job (e.g. bank teller, receptionist) so department ends up short staff 

Sick leave - doctor’s note due to abuse, not needed if someone puke/run a fever/faint while at work

Personal leave (paid) - doctor’s/dentist/optician note. Can be for spouse, kids, elderly parents

Scenario 2 easily work from anywhere job.

Sick leave - doctor’s note only enforced when people call in sick and were seen looking very well doing shopping or something else during work hours. It’s basically honor code unless abused. No work is expected to be done.

Personal leave - work can be done and expected to be done while accompanying relatives. So answering work calls and emails are  still expected.

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30 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

For salaried, where I work, if you do any work that day you should be paid for it. It could be just checking one e-0 from home and count for full pay.

So checking one e-mail counts for a full day of work? What if you answer one email on vacation? Does that count as work day so you have another vacation day for later?

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5 minutes ago, BlueGables said:

What policy?

Salaried and exempt employees get paid for a full day for doing any amount of work that day. 

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Just now, BlueGables said:

So checking one e-mail counts for a full day of work? What if you answer one email on vacation? Does that count as work day so you have another vacation day for later?

For companies with this policy, it counts as a full day of work because salaried and exempt employees are not paid for the time they work. A person checking an e-mail while on vacation could then take regular pay for that day, but at least in my company people who go on vacation don't check their e-mail. When they're on vacation, they're on vacation. 

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Just now, kdsuomi said:

For companies with this policy, it counts as a full day of work because salaried and exempt employees are not paid for the time they work. A person checking an e-mail while on vacation could then take regular pay for that day, but at least in my company people who go on vacation don't check their e-mail. When they're on vacation, they're on vacation. 

How often in a year, considering there are not a lot of 'overtime' hours asked of this person, is a "checking one e-mail day" acceptable as a full day of work?

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Basically, the military was sort of a salaried post.  In all the jobs my husband had for his 27.5 years in, except one, he averaged about 60 hours a week.  That one job was less than 40 or at least seemed like less than 40 since long lunches with the boss and lots of drinking were expected as were good relations with Nato staff and allies, where even more dining and drinking happened.  

Now my dh can't work more than 40 weeks average per week ( he fills one time card per month so one week could be 30 and another 50).  In this job, weekends and holidays don't count toward vacation days.  But sickness, taking care of me, and vacation days are all personal days.  If he was sick more than something like 4 days in a row,  he starts getting short term disability.  He hasn't been sick that long.

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13 minutes ago, TravelingChris said:

Basically, the military was sort of a salaried post.  In all the jobs my husband had for his 27.5 years in, except one, he averaged about 60 hours a week.  That one job was less than 40 or at least seemed like less than 40 since long lunches with the boss and lots of drinking were expected as were good relations with Nato staff and allies, where even more dining and drinking happened.  

Now my dh can't work more than 40 weeks average per week ( he fills one time card per month so one week could be 30 and another 50).  In this job, weekends and holidays don't count toward vacation days.  But sickness, taking care of me, and vacation days are all personal days.  If he was sick more than something like 4 days in a row,  he starts getting short term disability.  He hasn't been sick that long.

This might answer part of my main question. What happens when someone has gone through all their vacation/sick/personal days early in the year? 

 

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My other main question? How many times does someone use the "checked an email so I consider this a work day" days before it is considered that they aren't truly working for the company? That they are abusing that thought?

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We are very loose with our salaried employees.  They have set hours which they are responsible to work, but due to many factors those hours are not set in stone.  As long as we are kept in the loop (we use a group calendar system, so we know where everyone is at all times) then everything is fine. 

It sounds like this employee may need to be switched to hourly.  They may not like it, but it is within your rights as an employer to adjust their contract as needed. They would have a very high hourly rate if you just break up their current rate proportionately.  Usually the system is to give a lower rate for everything up to 40 hours, and then make up the difference with a significantly higher rate for overtime.  If they work the full 50 hours (which is what we usually get from salaried employees) then they should earn the same amount.  

Edited by Plink
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1 hour ago, BlueGables said:

My other main question? How many times does someone use the "checked an email so I consider this a work day" days before it is considered that they aren't truly working for the company? That they are abusing that thought?

Once?

I'm fine with charging the time it took to check the email.  So if you spent an hour a day on work emails during an 8-day vacation, charge a day as work.  But ultimately, if you have a full-time job you need to be working full-time, one way or another.

Personally I never treated any vacation time as work time no matter how much work I did - if I wasn't officially on call AND working, it was a personal day.  Checking the emails was largely done to make re-entry easier for me.  Who wants a thousand scary emails in your inbox when you return from vacation?

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I have personally seen this used in two different formats.

1. Employee has a set amount of duties. They are responsible for their own work. If they go home early one day, there is more work to do on other days. This often means working longer hours or at least harder hours on the other days. It makes payroll simpler to say "only put in for sick pay if you are gone for a full day". It obviously is an honor system. I would say a few times per year would be ok. More than that depends on the culture of the company. It is common in some companies to work 4 10 hour shifts M-Th and to leave early on Friday. This is the same concept, just framed differently.

 

2. Company that has a super tight budget which includes payroll.  If the person who is off for the day is salaried, and is in a vital enough role so they  have to be replaced this causes budget issues. In my company, they have to pay a non-salaried person to fill in. Paying two employees instead of one, really hurts payroll so people are less likely to go home sick, because now you have to pay two people.  Salaried employees are often in management, so that is why have to replace them.

It might sound confusing, but lets say a company has $1000 for payroll per day, and everyone makes $100 per day (just to make math easy). If one person comes to work and then goes home sick, they have to call in a replacement. Now the company is paying $1100 in payroll that day. So for the next few days, they have to cut everyone's hours to make up for that extra money paid in payroll so they can stay in budget. 

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For the most part, our hours off are just that hours off.  I've never received much credit for putting in 10-12 hour days, when 8 were required (aside from government work).  I did arrange to alter my hours a bit 2 days a week in order to leave a bit earlier when my brother, father and I ride-shared -- and it was my dad's day to drive (meaning he was waiting on me).  But, that was with the consent of my boss.  On those days, I started work at 7am, so I could leave at 4pm.  If there were a project that required later hours that day -- I didn't leave.

Working for the government has been a bit more flexible -- but dh gets overtime, and has a ton of leave.  If he works a half day, the rest of the day is counted as leave.  Very rarely will he be allowed to leave early and have it not count against him (but then we're talking an hour or two, and he skips lunch kind of thing).  He now has telework -- which allows him to use even less leave -- and actually get more overtime (especially when he's on duty over the weekend).  There were two days he was home "on leave" that he wound up teleworking (he truly wound up spending about 6-8 hours each day WORKING on his days off -- he put in that he worked and kept the leave. 

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Dh is a director for a large, well known company. He doesn't care at all about hours worked. He cares about the work getting done. So, for instance, he's very lenient with new parents. He tells them, once they return to work, that they can have whatever schedules they need. Most do a mix of office and from home and he doesn't care about hours as long as they get their work done. Many do this for 6 months to a year after having a new baby. No one higher up or in HR has a problem with it and it is an attitude many in the company adopt. Yesterday, dh didn't take a half day of time but he only worked from 1-5pm. He did have a few texts in the morning but that was it. He often puts in time here and there at night and on the weekends though. Basically, dh only takes time when he needs the whole day and that is usually due to illness or vacation. 

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I think there’s so much variety in “salaried positions” that it really is a case by case basis.

My husband is mostly in charge of his own work. He’s moving into an office soon, but he’ll be the only person in it. He can often move his work around scheduling needs, and he (generally) starts before 8am and (generally) finishes around 6pm, but it’s not unusual to have earlier or later calls... or to jump on a plane or drive to a job site. Taken hour by hour, he’s more than “earned” that flexibility. And he does keep it to a minimum because he’s the one who “pays” for it by still having to do his work later.

His official time off is considered to be “do not disturb” time, but it almost never works out that way, anyway.  Maybe I’d see it differently if personal time was personal time and work time was work time.

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11 hours ago, BlueGables said:

How often in a year, considering there are not a lot of 'overtime' hours asked of this person, is a "checking one e-mail day" acceptable as a full day of work?

As many times as the person wants.  He is salaried - that means he is paid to do a job, not paid to be present X number of hours per day.  His job may be monitor e-mail and respond...no response needed, he does what he wants; response needed, he rolls up his sleeves.   You do realize hourly workers at times are idle on the clock, right?

The person will follow the company procedure on charging his time, if there is one.

As far as morale, all of my employers feel that if a person has enough time to be monitoring co-workers, they don't have enough to do...that position is likely to become surplus.  

And finally, food for thought.   When I first went to work, there was a salaried person around age 40 who came in daily and read the newspaper. Sometimes he snoozed.  People were sad.  They felt it grossly unfair that a person dying of cancer had to come to work to get his medical benefits for his family.  His wife was very busy getting her Master's Degree done so she could support the young children once he passed.   These days, HIPPA means you will never know why someone isn't functioning, and you should never make and spread rumors. Karma.

 

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My sister had a salaried position that required frequent international travel.  She was paid for those 24-hour periods the same as if she worked an 8-hour day in the office.  

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You have asked a question that is very dependent on Corporate Culture.  The labor laws surrounding paying exempt (and non-exempt) employees vary from state to state in the US.

i have worked for companies that were Butt-in-the-Chair Culture.  Salaried employees were expected to be visible doing their jobs 8-5 with no more than 2 breaks and an hour for lunch (preferably eaten at their desk while they work).  Every hour had to be accounted for, usually in 15 minute blocks.  Your example person would have had to use their sick leave.

i have worked for companies so fiexible that it was hard to tell who worked there.  Salaried employees wandered in and out during the day and only tracked vacation time if you were gone more than 3 work days in a row.  Your example person would have just got paid their normal amount on pay day.

My current employer is somewhere in between.  We flex time hours here and there as needed, have a very generous leave policy, and just let our boss know if we are not in the office.  If someone was being a jerk about skiving out of the work load, as manager I would have to talk to them.  If I need to step out, it’s on me to find someone to cover for me while I’m not available - my boss or another manager - and in turn, I do the same for them.  I like it - having the flexibility to run out to a dentist appointment when I need to during the day makes it easier for me to concentrate on my job.  At my company,  the example person would probably have ended up using a Half Day of Leave on their time card.

More than one answer can be correct here, depending on the company culture and accounting rules.

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15 hours ago, BlueGables said:

I hope I'm giving a clear version of this scenario. 

Salaried position with (X) vacation weeks, (X) sick days and (X) personal days, all generous and up to recent standards. This salaried position heard from an accountant outside this particular business that if a salaried person came to work and within minutes threw up and went home,  they could still call that a day of work. Come in for few hours but spend rest of day at doctor appt or taking relative to doctors appt., still a day of work. What would be a 'reasonable' amount of times this 'rule' (or version of this kind of day) could be played out? Is this a standard policy? When would it be seen as breaking the "spirit of the law?"

 

Dh has always had the days converted to hours, even though salaried, for PTO. So if he left one hour into the day, he'd put in for 7 hours of PTO, or back when it was all separate for him, sick time. Not that he only works an 8 hour day, that's just how "off" days are accounted for... 

Edited by QueenCat
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46 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

As many times as the person wants.  He is salaried - that means he is paid to do a job, not paid to be present X number of hours per day.  His job may be monitor e-mail and respond...no response needed, he does what he wants; response needed, he rolls up his sleeves.   You do realize hourly workers at times are idle on the clock, right?

The person will follow the company procedure on charging his time, if there is one.

As far as morale, all of my employers feel that if a person has enough time to be monitoring co-workers, they don't have enough to do...that position is likely to become surplus.  

And finally, food for thought.   When I first went to work, there was a salaried person around age 40 who came in daily and read the newspaper. Sometimes he snoozed.  People were sad.  They felt it grossly unfair that a person dying of cancer had to come to work to get his medical benefits for his family.  His wife was very busy getting her Master's Degree done so she could support the young children once he passed.   These days, HIPPA means you will never know why someone isn't functioning, and you should never make and spread rumors. Karma.

 

No rumors, nothing as tragic as this. I'm more in the scouting out how to word policy. Is exempt salary position better for this title? Would a contract be better? How do you handle all of this if the position is also a position that the public needs to come into contact with. (Not possible if person is home.) 

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I think it depends on the industry.  I fall under the salaried/exempt banner; I am paid to do a job regardless of how many hours are required to satisfy my job needs. Some weeks I work 5 8-hour days in the office. Some weeks I am in the office 2-3 hours a day and doing other essential duties 5-8 hours a day. Other weeks, I'll be in the office 1-2 days.  For other weeks I work 80 on-the-road hours with multiple nights in hotels. Due to my job responsibilities the entire time I am on the road, for some trips, counts as on-duty hours. During these trips, I can put in 60 work hours in three days.. My hours in the office will be minimal the day or two following a long trip. 

Also, due to the nature of my position, there really aren't any true 'vacation' days; at least I haven't found out how to do it that way. I am always available for email, texting, and phone calls. I can't risk losing a contact by choosing to be unreachable. This type of life means that there are days when I pop in the office for 10-15 minutes and leave. Or I choose to work from home in my jammies with a gallon of chai sitting nearby.

There are days when I am in the office and the only other person there is our Admin. Asst. Our AA is the only person in our office with a set 35 hour work week and even then she is often called upon to send emails, etc from home. As a group we contact each other via email and texting. We schedule weekly and monthly meetings where we update each other on our progress.

There are days when I long for more structure and free time but then I remember I am doing my dream job. Honestly, some weeks may be exhausting but it really is fun.

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4 minutes ago, The Accidental Coach said:

I think it depends on the industry.  I fall under the salaried/exempt banner; I am paid to do a job regardless of how many hours are required to satisfy my job needs. Some weeks I work 5 8-hour days in the office. Some weeks I am in the office 2-3 hours a day and doing other essential duties 5-8 hours a day. Other weeks, I'll be in the office 1-2 days.  For other weeks I work 80 on-the-road hours with multiple nights in hotels. Due to my job responsibilities the entire time I am on the road, for some trips, counts as on-duty hours. During these trips, I can put in 60 work hours in three days.. My hours in the office will be minimal the day or two following a long trip. 

Also, due to the nature of my position, there really aren't any true 'vacation' days; at least I haven't found out how to do it that way. I am always available for email, texting, and phone calls. I can't risk losing a contact by choosing to be unreachable. This type of life means that there are days when I pop in the office for 10-15 minutes and leave. Or I choose to work from home in my jammies with a gallon of chai sitting nearby.

There are days when I am in the office and the only other person there is our Admin. Asst. Our AA is the only person in our office with a set 35 hour work week and even then she is often called upon to send emails, etc from home. As a group we contact each other via email and texting. We schedule weekly and monthly meetings where we update each other on our progress.

There are days when I long for more structure and free time but then I remember I am doing my dream job. Honestly, some weeks may be exhausting but it really is fun.

I have had a job that more closely fits this description. The current position we're trying to nail down, policy/contract wise,  has clear guidelines for the very minimal travel. There is no one on staff who can "fill in" for this position.  The 'remote work' would be a new addition but no one is sure how that works/looks in a more public position.  This is very much a 'dinosaur way meets 21st century' growth time.  

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19 minutes ago, BlueGables said:

No rumors, nothing as tragic as this. I'm more in the scouting out how to word policy. Is exempt salary position better for this title? Would a contract be better? How do you handle all of this if the position is also a position that the public needs to come into contact with. (Not possible if person is home.) 

Okay, now that I read this - my previous response doesn't help.

If the person has to be in the office in order to satisfy the demands of the job (meeting the public), then offering flex time will be difficult. I think posting specific office hours (much like a professor does) might be beneficial.  This way the public would know when to expect the person to be in the office. It could also be advertised online, via voicemail, etc.

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My husband works in an academic position in the military, but many of his coworkers are civilian faculty. Some are there every day and get very little work done, some (like my husband), are in and out at strange hours but are constantly working. He might work nights, work in the morning from home and go in late, Sunday mornings very often he is working -- he likes flexibility and complains that he gets the least amount of work done AT work because people love to drop in and chat!

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Some of this is a matter of state and federal law. An employer can jeopardize their right to deem an employee exempt if they are treating them identically to non-exempt employees with regards to time tracking.  Generally employees who are exempt track by the day or 1/2 day rather than the hour.  Often exempt employees are only required to document their time off.

 

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18 minutes ago, SanDiegoMom in VA said:

My husband works in an academic position in the military, but many of his coworkers are civilian faculty. Some are there every day and get very little work done, some (like my husband), are in and out at strange hours but are constantly working. He might work nights, work in the morning from home and go in late, Sunday mornings very often he is working -- he likes flexibility and complains that he gets the least amount of work done AT work because people love to drop in and chat!

This is part of the position and the part of being a public position that we want to address. How this person can remain accessible to the public and yet still have time to get the paperwork done.  As well as addressing the policy for sick/vacation/ personal time dilemma. 

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10 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

Some of this is a matter of state and federal law. An employer can jeopardize their right to deem an employee exempt if they are treating them identically to non-exempt employees with regards to time tracking.  Generally employees who are exempt track by the day or 1/2 day rather than the hour.  Often exempt employees are only required to document their time 

Even this wording helps. I don't think anyone in meetings has mentioned tracking by day or 1/2 day. This would be a more concrete way to deal with multiple partial days.   

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4 minutes ago, BlueGables said:

Even this wording helps. I don't think anyone in meetings has mentioned tracking by day or 1/2 day. This would be a more concrete way to deal with multiple partial days.   

 

At my husband’s job, the days that are longer than 8 hours more than offset the shorter or shortish days.  He works for a large Fortune 500 company, is salaried/exempt and time tracking is very relaxed. If someone needs to arrive late or take a long lunch or leave early, they generally offset it that same day.  They just send an email, subject line only for schedule variations or time off.  

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9 minutes ago, BlueGables said:

This is part of the position and the part of being a public position that we want to address. How this person can remain accessible to the public and yet still have time to get the paperwork done.  As well as addressing the policy for sick/vacation/ personal time dilemma. 

 

The accessible to public part can be like the passport services at the USPS that offers the passport service. You could make it certain hours only, leaving the person time to do paperwork.  

Some of our post offices requires an appointment for making passports, some is just walk in. The walk-in is easier for the post office as they don’t need to find another staff or cancel appointments if the passport service staff is sick. 

I think employers/supervisors asking for advanced notice of whatever number of days for vacation and personal time is common because of job scheduling of front desk personnel. You would have to decide what is the backup plan if this staff is sick or need urgent time off because a relative needs to be taken to ER.

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6 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

 

The accessible to public part can be like the passport services at the USPS that offers the passport service. You could make it certain hours only, leaving the person time to do paperwork.  

Some of our post offices requires an appointment for making passports, some is just walk in. The walk-in is easier for the post office as they don’t need to find another staff or cancel appointments if the passport service staff is sick. 

I think employers/supervisors asking for advanced notice of whatever number of days for vacation and personal time is common because of job scheduling of front desk personnel. You would have to decide what is the backup plan if this staff is sick or need urgent time off because a relative needs to be taken to ER.

I like the "open to public hours" idea. That could possibly be started quickly.  I also think you hit on another issue that might need to be spelled out. What kind of notice should be given for time off. Obviously you can't know when you'll be sick or have emergency but how much notice for non-sick/emergency times? 

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2 hours ago, BlueGables said:

I have had a job that more closely fits this description. The current position we're trying to nail down, policy/contract wise,  has clear guidelines for the very minimal travel. There is no one on staff who can "fill in" for this position.  The 'remote work' would be a new addition but no one is sure how that works/looks in a more public position.  This is very much a 'dinosaur way meets 21st century' growth time.  

I think you handle that in the job description as an essential job requirement - the employee must interact with clients in the office or at the clients location of choice ( if that is appropriate). Not all jobs lend themselves to remote work, and that’s okay. 

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My mind is blown just thinking about how many hours my husband puts in on his job, especially when travel time is included. 

As an employee, he is required to travel and that is part of his job description, not his compensation package. Client facing and client site visits are included in parts of his job description as essential tasks. He works as many hours as needed whenever and where ever needed. Again, that is dictated by the job description, not his comp package. He claims vacation days for scheduled vacations. He sometimes works on vacation by necessity. He keeps track of it and asks for vacation days to be credited to his account if needed. His bosses have never had an issue with that - usually they are the ones who are involved in him working on vacation on the first place, though. He doesn’t have a separate pot of sick days. When he’s sick he reschedules as much as he can but usually ends up working from home at least a few hours a day and is available to his boss for emergencies when he is sick as well. He doesn’t usually take a paid day off (vacation day) when he is sick because not only is he working sick, he knows he routinely puts in 60+ hours per week and it’s just considered reasonable comp time. 

All of this wandering around is me trying to say that you need to nail down job descriptions and make sure time in the office is part of the job description as an essential task. By determining that something is essential, failing to meet that expectation is grounds for dismissal. It’s not a minimum hours requirement, it’s a required task to do the job. 

 

  

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16 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

an accountant - not HR

outside this particular business - so an entirely different company

 

if your company doesn't have a written policy, you would still need to discuss it with whomever should have authority over such a policy.  either HR, or your manager.

There is no HR. 

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19 minutes ago, BlueGables said:

There is no HR. 

still it is advice from someone not in this particular business and is likely irrelevant - unless it is the law to which all employers must adhere.  some business laws ONLY apply to businesses who meet a particular threshold for number of employees - so again, may or may not be pertinent.

talk to the manager. if the manager is the problem, talk to the owner.  and if it is the owner - you know more for if it would be worth talking to a government oversight agency.

 

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20 minutes ago, TechWife said:

My mind is blown just thinking about how many hours my husband puts in on his job, especially when travel time is included. 

As an employee, he is required to travel and that is part of his job description, not his compensation package. Client facing and client site visits are included in parts of his job description as essential tasks. He works as many hours as needed whenever and where ever needed. Again, that is dictated by the job description, not his comp package. He claims vacation days for scheduled vacations. He sometimes works on vacation by necessity. He keeps track of it and asks for vacation days to be credited to his account if needed. His bosses have never had an issue with that - usually they are the ones who are involved in him working on vacation on the first place, though. He doesn’t have a separate pot of sick days. When he’s sick he reschedules as much as he can but usually ends up working from home at least a few hours a day and is available to his boss for emergencies when he is sick as well. He doesn’t usually take a paid day off (vacation day) when he is sick because not only is he working sick, he knows he routinely puts in 60+ hours per week and it’s just considered reasonable comp time. 

All of this wandering around is me trying to say that you need to nail down job descriptions and make sure time in the office is part of the job description as an essential task. By determining that something is essential, failing to meet that expectation is grounds for dismissal. It’s not a minimum hours requirement, it’s a required task to do the job. 

 

  

I know people who have tons of travel in their job description and have always wondered how they balance that with family/time off. When I had that kind of job I was single. This particular job description will never have extensive travel. RE:bolded   This is what we're working on. We've never had to question whether someone was taking advantage or not. Most salaried workers tend towards too many hours not workers not doing the job.

 

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4 hours ago, HeighHo said:

As many times as the person wants.  He is salaried - that means he is paid to do a job, not paid to be present X number of hours per day.  His job may be monitor e-mail and respond...no response needed, he does what he wants; response needed, he rolls up his sleeves.   You do realize hourly workers at times are idle on the clock, right?

The person will follow the company procedure on charging his time, if there is one.

As far as morale, all of my employers feel that if a person has enough time to be monitoring co-workers, they don't have enough to do...that position is likely to become surplus.  

And finally, food for thought.   When I first went to work, there was a salaried person around age 40 who came in daily and read the newspaper. Sometimes he snoozed.  People were sad.  They felt it grossly unfair that a person dying of cancer had to come to work to get his medical benefits for his family.  His wife was very busy getting her Master's Degree done so she could support the young children once he passed.   These days, HIPPA means you will never know why someone isn't functioning, and you should never make and spread rumors. Karma.

 

This is the answer. If the job is getting done, the person is good. Salaried/exempt employees often work more than 8 hours without getting paid extra and the reverse should also be true. 

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28 minutes ago, BlueGables said:

I know people who have tons of travel in their job description and have always wondered how they balance that with family/time off. When I had that kind of job I was single. This particular job description will never have extensive travel. RE:bolded   This is what we're working on. We've never had to question whether someone was taking advantage or not. Most salaried workers tend towards too many hours not workers not doing the job.

 

 

 

Yes, exactly. Most salaried workers work more than 40+ hours per week, which is why it's an advantage to the company to classify them as salaried instead of paying hourly workers overtime. I think if your job descriptions are designed correctly, it will take a minimum of 40 hours per week to do the job (on average, allowing that some jobs have cyclical needs). If someone puts in fewer hours but meets all job requirements, that's fine. If they aren't putting in the needed hours working and therefore aren't meeting their job requirements, they get fired for failing to meet job requirements.

To get back to your original question about sick time - yes, in my husband's company culture, he wouldn't take an official paid day off if he went into the office, became ill and left quickly. That's because he'd be on the phone working from home at some point during the day or evening. If he had a job where he could not work from home, he would take a day off. For example, my BIL works in the defense industry and isn't allowed to take work out of the building. If he's too sick to be in the office, he doesn't work & takes a day off.

Balance - what's that?? No, seriously, when ds was young (he's an adult now), my husband did a great job of balancing work/home and stood firm with his employer when he needed time for a special occasion. The flexibility of homeschooling helped, too. We occasionally took business trips with him, though that isn't as easy as it sounds, so we didn't do it often. We were also able to schedule family meals around my husbands work schedule - if he had an evening flight out, he could make sure he was home for lunch that day, for example. He also jealously guarded his weekends up until very recently (until after ds finished high school). Saturdays & Sundays were all about family. It wasn't always easy, but it's a way of life for us and we approached Dad traveling as a normal occurrence, not something to get upset about or stressed out over. His employer handled family emergencies with compassion - and for a while there it seemed like we had at least one significant emergency on an annual basis. He did take his official paid time off/vacation days for those, but it was always "let us know if we can help you in any way and take all the time you need" response from his employer. I've heard people talk about large employers being inflexible, but that simply hasn't been what we have experienced with dh's very large company at all. They have been around a long time, have established HR policies & have seen just about every circumstance imaginable by now, so "there's probably an HR policy about that," as my dh says. I think they understand both words in "human resources" pretty well - employees are all people with their complicated lives, yet people are their primary means of getting the work done, so treat them fairly and be consistent. I do realize it's a company culture thing, too.

Wow - I've gone on quite a bit. Sorry about that. I'm quite sure I've rambled more than you ever wanted me too!

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