Non-Exempt vs. Exempt Employees: According to the Fair Labor Standards (FLSA), non-exempt employees only have to be paid when they work, so they may take partial unpaid vacation days any time an employer authorizes the time. Because of this, absenteeism is kept to a minimum. Exempt employees are not so simple and how you handle their time off may run you afoul of the FLSA. Basically in the private sector employers that make deductions from exempt employees’ pay for absences of less than a day may jeopardize their exempt status under the FLSA. This may expose the employer to liability for any overtime worked by the employees and even constitute a violation in paid time off laws.