I am salaried exempt and usually work over 40 hrs and always required to process reports on weekends. i needed to leave an hour early on Friday due to family emergency and was 2 hours late on Tuesday (required to appear in court as a witness). my employer is making me use a half day vacation for the time combined. Not fair. the hr mgr missed 5 hours twice this week for dentist appts and he was not required to use vacation time. when I was hired i was told "you are salaried, it up to you to get your work done however you see fit". well that keeps changing depending on his mood that day and i find myself needing to work more and more hrs every weekend to keep up with additional duties being piled on. why should i lose my vacation for a few hrs during the week as long as my work is done?
As to the family issue, your employer's actions were likely lawful. If you qualify under FMLA, then you can still be required to use your paid leave before taking unpaid leave. You can find more information on that here:
Also, your employer can treat different employees differently unless he is discriminating against a person because that person is a member of a protected class (race, gender, religion, etc.). So while it is unfair and probably a bad business practice, it is likely that your employer can ask you to use your leave for a dentist appointment and not require that of another employee.
The law makes a distinction between employees summoned for jury duty and employees subpoenaed as a witness. If you were summoned for jury duty, your employment is protected and you cannot be compelled to use your sick leave or vacation time (Md. Cts. and Jud. Proc. § 8-501, 2). If you are subpoenaed as a witness, your employment cannot be terminated; however, your leave is not similarly protected so it is likely that your employer can require you to use it (Md. Cts. and Jud. Proc. § 9-205).
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The answer may depend on additional facts as pointed out by other counsel. But, one important question first is the question of whether you are truly an exempt employee. That needs to be confirmed first.
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