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Exempt Employees

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BUSINESS
December 29, 1996
Q: I recently accepted a senior management position with a small commercial bank. After starting work I have learned of the following personnel practices: 1. The probationary period for nonexempt employees is 90 days, while it is six months for exempt employees. Probationary employees are not paid for holidays that occur during their probationary period. 2.
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BUSINESS
October 1, 2001
Question: The company I work for has about 100 employees. Some are punch-clock employees, some are salaried with overtime and some receive a straight salary. The owner has decided to install a new thumbprint punch clock, and all employees are expected to "punch" in and out. The word is that those at the director and vice president levels will be penalized if they work 35 hours one week, instead of 40-plus, even if they worked 60-plus the previous week. Is this legal? --S.H.
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BUSINESS
May 26, 1996
Q. My employer pays several exempt employees overtime on a regular basis at the rate of straight time only. I heard at a seminar that you can't pay exempt employees overtime calculated on their hourly rate, but you can pay a bonus--$200 for 10 hours, for example. Can you advise which method is acceptable? --A.D., Anaheim A.
BUSINESS
June 9, 2001 | LISA GIRION, TIMES STAFF WRITER
California companies planning temporary shutdowns must pay white-collar employees' salaries for up to a month--three weeks longer than current practice, according to a controversial new legal opinion by the state labor enforcement agency's top lawyer. The opinion also forbids companies from forcing exempt employees to take vacation time and bans partial vacation days--all of which could hamper plans by companies to hold down costs by sending workers home.
BUSINESS
May 14, 2000
Q I am an exempt employee with a large managed health care company. I would like to know if my employer can require me to be at work at 8:30 a.m. every day. I had heard that under California laws, I might be considered a nonexempt worker and eligible for overtime pay. Is this true? --A.M., Bellflower * A Unfortunately, the answer is no. Employers can require exempt employees to report for work at a specified time. Exempt employees can even be suspended or discharged if they are late.
NEWS
December 3, 2000
Q: My brother was recently terminated after 1 1/2 years on the job. He had an excellent work record, but had been unable to work for health reasons. He sought medical help and obtained a note from his doctor stating that he couldn't work until his medical evaluation was complete. A few days after his employer received the note, my brother received a termination notice. When he sought legal help, lawyers said he needed at least five years of continuous employment for a legitimate claim.
NEWS
December 3, 2000
Q: My brother was recently terminated after 1 1/2 years on the job. He had an excellent work record, but had been unable to work for health reasons. He sought medical help and obtained a note from his doctor stating that he couldn't work until his medical evaluation was complete. A few days after his employer received the note, my brother received a termination notice. When he sought legal help, lawyers said he needed at least five years of continuous employment for a legitimate claim.
BUSINESS
September 29, 1996
Q My son has worked for a retail chain for about nine months, about 20 hours per week. Every two or three weeks, he is required to attend a meeting, hosted by the regional sales manager or some other high-position manager, that usually lasts about an hour. He dresses as if he were working. He is not paid for these meetings, which are required, nor is he allowed any compensation time. Can a company require employees to attend these meetings without paying? --P.L.R.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2001
Question: The company I work for has about 100 employees. Some are punch-clock employees, some are salaried with overtime and some receive a straight salary. The owner has decided to install a new thumbprint punch clock, and all employees are expected to "punch" in and out. The word is that those at the director and vice president levels will be penalized if they work 35 hours one week, instead of 40-plus, even if they worked 60-plus the previous week. Is this legal? --S.H.
NEWS
December 24, 2000
Q: My employer recently sent out a letter with our paychecks claiming the right to search an employee's vehicle if it is on company property. Is this legal? --S.B., Irvine A: Yes. Especially after giving written notice to employees, employers have the right to search vehicles, toolboxes, briefcases, lunch boxes and backpacks that are brought onto company property. An employer may even require employees to empty their pockets.
NEWS
February 25, 2001
Q: I am an assistant manager at a store where we are scheduled for nine-hour shifts, taking an hour unpaid break. Recently, we have been short-handed, and my boss wants me to work through my break without getting paid. Is there a law against this? Could I refuse to work during my break even if my employer offers to pay? --B.H., Los Angeles A: The answer depends on whether assistant managers at your store are hourly, nonexempt employees or salaried, exempt executives.
NEWS
February 25, 2001
Q: I am an assistant manager at a store where we are scheduled for nine-hour shifts, taking an hour unpaid break. Recently, we have been short-handed, and my boss wants me to work through my break without getting paid. Is there a law against this? Could I refuse to work during my break even if my employer offers to pay? --B.H., Los Angeles * A: The answer depends on whether assistant managers at your store are hourly, nonexempt employees or salaried, exempt executives.
NEWS
December 24, 2000
Q: My employer recently sent out a letter with our paychecks claiming the right to search an employee's vehicle if it is on company property. Is this legal? --S.B., Irvine A: Yes. Especially after giving written notice to employees, employers have the right to search vehicles, toolboxes, briefcases, lunch boxes and backpacks that are brought onto company property. An employer may even require employees to empty their pockets.
NEWS
December 3, 2000
Q: My brother was recently terminated after 1 1/2 years on the job. He had an excellent work record, but had been unable to work for health reasons. He sought medical help and obtained a note from his doctor stating that he couldn't work until his medical evaluation was complete. A few days after his employer received the note, my brother received a termination notice. When he sought legal help, lawyers said he needed at least five years of continuous employment for a legitimate claim.
NEWS
December 3, 2000
Q: My brother was recently terminated after 1 1/2 years on the job. He had an excellent work record, but had been unable to work for health reasons. He sought medical help and obtained a note from his doctor stating that he couldn't work until his medical evaluation was complete. A few days after his employer received the note, my brother received a termination notice. When he sought legal help, lawyers said he needed at least five years of continuous employment for a legitimate claim.
NEWS
November 19, 2000
Q Last December, I was laid off along with 20 to 30 others. Our employer refused to pay accrued vacation time. I filed a complaint with the Labor Board and was awarded my pay three months later. I then filed a complaint seeking 30 days' pay as allowed under the law. Soon after I filed this complaint, the company filed for bankruptcy. I was awarded the 30 days' pay, but instead of receiving the money I got a letter from the Labor Board saying the claim was dismissed because of the bankruptcy.
BUSINESS
February 5, 1996
Do you have a question about an on-the-job situation? If so, please mail it to Shop Talk, Los Angeles Times, P.O. Box 2008, Costa Mesa, CA 92626; call (714) 966-7873 and leave a voice mail message, or send e-mail to shoptalk@latimes.com Include your initials and hometown. Q: I was employed at a major drug chain as the pharmacist in charge. It soon became evident to me that controlled substances were being refilled with no regard to regulations.
NEWS
November 19, 2000
Q Last December, I was laid off along with 20 to 30 others. Our employer refused to pay accrued vacation time. I filed a complaint with the Labor Board and was awarded my pay three months later. I then filed a complaint seeking 30 days' pay as allowed under the law. Soon after I filed this complaint, the company filed for bankruptcy. I was awarded the 30 days' pay, but instead of receiving the money I got a letter from the Labor Board saying the claim was dismissed because of the bankruptcy.
BUSINESS
July 12, 2000 | GREG HERNANDEZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Lower-level managers at the Sport Chalet Inc. sporting goods chain are suing the company on claims that they are wrongly classified as managers and that they are owed overtime pay for constant, long hours at work. The lawsuit is the second one filed recently in Orange County Superior Court accusing a sporting goods chain of refusing to pay overtime to workers classified as managers but who claim they perform few, if any, managerial tasks.
BUSINESS
July 9, 2000
Q As an exempt (non-overtime) management employee, is the company required to pay me my full weekly salary even if I occasionally take one or more non-vacation days off during the workweek to engage in non-job activities? --C.D., Hollywood * A As a general rule, exempt employees must be paid their full salaries in any week in which they perform work. There are, however, several exceptions.
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