Can deductions from salary of an exempt employee be made for two days of sick leave?

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Can deductions from salary of an exempt employee be made for two days of sick leave?

My a company provides 3.7 hours of sick leave a month, and no vacation, although
there are fixed summer and winter school breaks. If an exempt employee was to
take 2 full days of sick leave, after already going into negative sick leave,
could these days be deducted from the salary?

Thank you

Asked on October 9, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The hours could be deducted from salary if there was an agreement with the company that negative PTO results in salary deductions. Such an agreement could be implied from an employee handbook or similar policy statement: that is, if the employee was provided a handbook, memo, etc. which stated that this was the policy and then went into negative leave after having been made aware of that policy, his using additional days after knowing of the consequences would be taken to be agreement or consent to those consequences.
If there was no agreement, the company may not deduct from salary; salary deductions can only be taken with consent. Of course, if the employee does not agree to repay in this way, the company could simply terminate his employment (assuming he does not have a still-in-effect written employment contract preventing termination for this reason; without a contract, all employment is "employment at will"), which means the company could give him the choice between paying or his job. They could also sue him for the money.


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