I have a question for you: I am an exempt employee traveling to Australia from CA next week for a conference. The conference starts on a Saturday and goes through Wednesday of the same week. This means I will have to work Saturday and Sunday. Am I allowed to take my weekend on the Thursday and Friday immediately after the conference (its all within the same pay period)? I get conflicting answers at work. Some say its too bad and that I simply lost my weekend. Others say that since I am a salaried employee as long as I work 10 days within any 2-week pay period I should be OK. As you might have guessed I am taking those days off anyways but have been told they will be docked from my pay because I have no more vacation days left. What do you think?
I think your boss is a jerk.
Unfortunately, as an exempt employee you are hired to do a job, not to work by the hour. If the job requires a weekend conference your boss is under no legal obligation to give you comp time. (Reminder, I am not a lawyer. No legal advice here!) However, he's under a moral obligation to do so, and as I said, I think he's a jerk.
Here's some language from the Department of Labor:
Subject to certain exceptions set forth in the regulations, in order to be considered "salaried", employees must receive their full salary for any workweek in which they perform any work without regard to the number of days or hours worked.
So, if he docks your pay when you have a doctor's appointment during the middle of the day, or you get in late or leave early, you can remind show him this paragraph and watch him sputter.
(Please note, for all you slacker types out there who are trying to get away with less work, this does not mean you don't have to show up at work. Part of the job requirement can be that you are in the office for specific times. Additionally, you are almost certainly an at will employee and can be fired at any time.)
And on that cheery note, I better dry my hair and wake up the offspring so I can get to work.