Once every four years, you get an extra day to do whatever we want! Or, rather, because you have to work for a living, you have to work. But, if you're a business owner, you just might get some free labor.

This year, February 29 falls on a Saturday, but that means that instead of having a weekend of March 1st and 2nd, you have to be back to work on the 2nd and so do your employees. (Of course, plenty of people work on the weekend.) Regardless of how it falls, there's an extra day. For salaried exempt employees, that extra day may not come with extra pay. 

Let me explain: Salaried exempt employees are paid by the job, not by the hour. Regardless of whether they put in 30 hours or 60 hours in a week, their paycheck remains the same. (There are only a few circumstances where you can deduct pay from an exempt employee--like leaves of absence and Family Medical Leave time.)

Some exempt employees are paid by the week or biweekly. They get a paycheck that covers seven or fourteen days, and so they do get paid extra for the extra day that they'll work in a leap year. 

But, some exempt employees get paid bimonthly. They get a paycheck twice a month, and each is for the same amount. It doesn't account for the actual amount of days worked. They are always rewarded a bit more for April than March, and February is the best deal of the year. They get paid the same for their 28 days in February as they do for the 31 days in March.

This is just a mildly amusing fact of life, and not something that you should get stressed out (or too gleeful) about. It's doubtful anyone will complain. If you manage bi-monthly paid exempt employees, you should say thank you for their day of unpaid service. Extra nice bosses should offer an extra day off to compensate for the extra day of work.

Published on: Feb 29, 2020
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