I am an exempt employee. A few weeks ago, I worked worked a lot of hours between Monday and Thursday due to a project deadline. I had already planned to take off the day on Friday and informed my employer as such.

Because I had already worked nearly 40 hours from Monday to Thursday, I only put the remaining 3 hours of paid time off (PTO) on my timesheet for Friday to bring myself to an even 40.

The following week, HR informed me that this was not correct to do and because I was an exempt employee, I needed to allot a full 8 hours. They changed my timesheet so that I had a total of 8 hours on Friday, which netted my work week to show 40 hours plus 5 overtime hours. Because I'm an exempt employee, I received no compensation for those 5 additional hours.

Was that legal? It doesn't seem like it should be. Related, as an exempt employee, am I required to work 8 hours in a day or 40 in a week?

If it impacts this, our employee handbook indicates in one spot that PTO should be taken in 4 hour increments. But another spot seems to contradict it by stating we need to accurately report time based on hours actually worked. The handbook defines a full-time employee as one who regularly works 40 hours in a week, but doesn't state that 8 hours each day must be worked.

My office is located in Pennsylvania, but the main office is in New Jersey.

  • Reporting time is generally for accounting, not compensation.
    – phoog
    Jan 9, 2018 at 4:37
  • I'm also an exempt employee. My employer requires 8 hours each workday (in employee handbook) regardless of OT worked on other days. The 8 hours could be actual work, vacation hours, or company holiday. I would have had to use the full 8 hours vacation.
    – James
    Jan 9, 2018 at 12:29
  • Some companies have written policy that PTO can only be used in 4 hour (1/2 day) segments. In that case, putting 3 hours of PTO on your sheet would be incorrect. Does your company have a similar policy?
    – abelenky
    Jan 9, 2018 at 13:49
  • @James nothing in our handbook (that I've found) requires 8 hours each workday. It defines a full-time employee as one who regularly works 40 hours in a week as it relates to eligibility for benefits. Jan 9, 2018 at 14:35
  • @abelenky As stated in the last paragraph of the question, it does have a 4 hour increment policy, but it also says we need to report our time based on hours worked. I suppose my question is as an exempt employee, am I required to work 8 hours every day or 40 in a week? I'll edit to clarify that. Jan 9, 2018 at 14:36


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