Do You Have to Pay Exempt Employees if the Office is Closed for a Week?

Jennifer asks:

My employer just announced today that they will be closing the office the week of Thanksgiving, November 24-28. The 27th and 28th were already scheduled as holidays. I am a salaried exempt employee and thus, always get paid for the day after Thanksgiving while hourly employees in the office do not receive pay for this day. With today’s announcement, I was informed that exempt employees would not be paid for Nov. 24-26 and would have to use our PTO. Does the company have the right to do this or am I to get these days off with pay?

The quick answer is: No.  As discussed in prior articles, employers do not have to pay exempt employees any part of their salaries if the employees do not perform any work during a full workweek.  In order to avoid having to pay a full week’s salary for weeks when the employees only work a partial workweek, some employers simply close down for a full week. Employees can, of course, use any accrued PTO or vacation, but the employer is not required to pay the employee’s salary because the employee does not perform any work during the workweek.

The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego
95 South Market Street, Suite 520
San Jose, CA 95113
Tel. 408-293-6341
 
Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman, former associate of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.
 

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Phillip J. Griego represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

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