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February 11, 2010
When It’s OK to Dock Pay in a PTO Program

In a 2010 BLR webinar, “Solving PTO Problems: How to Reduce Unscheduled Absences Without Alienating Employees or Violating the Law,” attorney Catherine Moreton Gray outlined laws to consider when implementing any paid time off program. She specifically addressed rules governing the docking of pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

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Under FLSA, employers may dock the pay of nonexempt employees or require them to use PTO time if available, even for parts of a day.

Employers may not dock the pay of an exempt employee for a partial day absence (there is an exception for intermittent usage under the Family and Medical Leave Act), but PTO time can be used in partial day increments.

Catherine Moreton Gray is an associate attorney in the Labor and Employment section of Robinson & Cole LLP in Hartford, Conn. She has more than 20 years of experience in human resources and employment law. Contact her at cgray@rc.com.

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