What impact does pay periods have on exempt employees who wish to make up time? If an employee takes a couple of hours off but desires to make up the time, why does it have to done in the same pay period?
To put us in context, the majority of the staff are exempt, we currently get paid on the 5th and 20th of each month, have vacation and sick buckets and work 9/80 with every other Friday off.
I ask this because a couple of employees worked on what would have been ‘Off Friday on 10/9′. One of the employees had a scheduled sick day [medical apt] for the following Friday which would have been ‘On Friday on 10/16′.
He asked could he cover his medical apt with his ‘Off Friday time worked’ rather count it against his sick time. I allowed it. However the owner raised a fuss because the medical apt time off was not in the same pay period as the time worked, but she allowed ‘this time’.
Pay periods have no impact on when exempt people take time off, or switch schedules, or what have you. Legally. An exempt person gets paid the same every paycheck and that is that.
Now, a non-exempt person is a different story, because if they work more than 40 hours in a given week, they have to receive overtime pay, even if the reason they worked was to make up for time they took off in a previous week.
But, this is an exempt question. What you did is perfectly reasonable. Your employee knew he was going to be gone on a specific day, so he asked to swap his days off, so as to not have to use PTO. Super! No problem. It’s no problem because it doesn’t matter, in terms of pay, when an exempt employee works or doesn’t work.
The owner “allowed” this, but said not to do it again. I’m tempted to ask her what purpose this would serve. I’ll tell you. It would serve to further alienate employees! Yeah! Just what you want.
However, the owner certainly is within her rights to not allow this. Companies can set the rules for time off. And even though you have to pay exempt employees, you can dictate the rules and discipline if they break them. So, yes, she could say, “No, sorry. You can’t swap days.” Is this dumb? Yes. But, sometimes owners/managers think that they are doing favors for their employees by giving them jobs. They feel like they are handing out Halloween candy and you better darn well say thank you, even if they hand out those nasty peanut-butter things in the orange and black wrappers. And if you don’t they yell at you for your lack of manners. They forget that the reason you are working for them is that it benefits the owner/manager/company. (If it doesn’t, you should be fired.)
So, the pay periods thing is her rule. Fine. You live with it. But it’s not (as far as I know, not being a lawyer or anything like that) illegal to do so.