Do I have to give a salaried employee time off? If so, how much vacation and sick time would I have to give, and does it have to be paid?

October 5, 2023
Do I have to give a salaried employee time off?

Federal law

Salaried employees are regulated by federal and state laws, and neither law requires employers to offer paid vacation or holidays for exempt employees, regardless of the size of the company. The Fair Labor Standards Act policy establishes employee standards in the private sector and does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations or holidays (federal or otherwise). These benefits are a matter of agreement between an employer and an employee usually stated in a Paid Time Off (PTO).

In addition, private employers don’t have to give employees unpaid time off for vacation or federal holidays.

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers with 50 or more employees for 20 or more weeks in the current or preceding calendar year to give unpaid leave to their employees. To secure these benefits, an employee:

  • Must work for an employer with at least 50 employees in a 75-mile radius of their work location.
  • Have been on the job at least 12 months.
  • And, have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours within the 12 month period prior to the FMLA leave.

In this article, we’ll provide additional information regarding salaried employees and time off.

State and city law

Several states and cities are now requiring employers to offer paid or unpaid sick leave to their employees. Companies should review their Department of Labor guidelines to find out their specific employer standards and salary PTO laws. For example, California state requires employees to give employees 24 hours or 3 days of sick leave and San Francisco requires employers to give one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

States can also have additional requirements when it comes to family and medical leave, so companies should also review their Department of Labor guidelines to see what they are required to offer their employees.

Paid time off as an incentive

While state and federal laws don’t require standard vacation time for exempt employees, some employers offer paid time off as a benefit. In a tight labor market, top talent does not ask: “Do salaried employees get paid for days off?” They ask how many weeks of vacation they will start with.

If a company is going to offer additional PTO benefits, they should consider these three points:

  • That the employer gives written notice of the policy to the employee.
  • That the employer abides by the policy.
  • That the employer doesn’t discriminate in administering the policy.

Final note

In addition to vacation and sick leave, remember to consider salaried employee time off rules for voting, jury duty, and military leave.

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