Everything You Should Know About Exempt Employee Sick Time

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The Ins and Outs of Exempt Employee Sick Time

While calling in sick is no one’s favorite activity, you sometimes need to stay at home until you recover. Before taking sick leave, you need to get familiar with federal and state laws, together with your company policy.

If you’re wondering what you should know about exempt employee sick time, you’ll find the necessary information in this article.

Federal Labor Laws on Exempt Employees

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must pay most employees overtime for all hours worked in a workweek that exceed 40. Some employees are exempt from this overtime rule, and they:

  • Do professional, administrative, executive, and outside sales jobs
  • Are referred to as exempt employees

To be part of this group, these professionals need to pass three tests:

Exempt Employee TestsDetails
Salary testTo be an exempt employee:
  • You have to receive a minimum salary of $684 per week
  • Your employer needs to pay you the full salary if you’ve performed work during a certain workweek
Job duties testWhile your principal responsibilities need to fulfill specific requirements, your job title has no impact on your exempt status

The Exempt Employee Sick Leave Policy

If you are an exempt employee, your employer can make a deduction from your salary if you:

  1. Have called in sick via email, text, or phone and took one or more full days
  2. Receive paid sick leave
  3. Haven’t qualified for the paid sick leave plan yet—To meet this requirement, you need to work for that company for 90 days
  4. Have exceeded the limit under the employer’s sick leave plan

Check State Laws on Exempt Employee Sick Time

Aside from federal laws, different states may impose different tests and regulations for exempt employees.

Browse through the following table to check specific state laws concerning sick leave:

CaliforniaArizonaPennsylvaniaNorth Carolina
New YorkMichiganFloridaVirginia
WashingtonColoradoVermontRhode Island
New JerseyWashington D.C.OhioGeorgia

While no employer can force you to work when you’re sick, you need to get familiar with requirements at federal, state, and company levels to avoid jeopardizing your job or being fired.

The Exempt Employee Sick Time Law on Public Agency Employees

If you are an exempt employee of a public agency, you can have your pay reduced or get unpaid sick leave if you have been absent from work less than a full day because of injury or illness but have:

  1. Not received permission to use your sick leave
  2. Decided to use leave without compensation
  3. Spent your sick and personal leave limit
  4. Not submitted a proper sick leave request form

to create a valid sick leave request in a matter of minutes!

DoNotPay Is the Right Way to Your Sick Leave

You shouldn’t work when you don’t feel well as you:

  • Need to rest and recover fast—Your employer might ask you how long you’ll be absent from work and inquire about your illness
  • Don’t want to spread your germs and viruses in your office—If you have COVID-19 symptoms, check whether you’re entitled to sick leave according to the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)

There’s no need for you to browse through numerous online templates trying to adjust them to suit your needs and follow your company policy.

Our AI Consumer Champion knows what laws you need to comply with and will generate a rock-solid request for your well-deserved sick leave.


  1. Access our Request Sick Leave feature
  2. Provide the state your employer is located in
  3. Enter basic information about your company and indicate how long you’ll be absent from work
  4. Choose if you’d like DoNotPay to send your sick leave request to you or directly to your employer

You should also know that our AI-powered app can help you send demand letters to your employer in case they fire you for being sick.

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