Benefits and Compensation

Danger Zone—Deductions from Salaried Employees’ Pay

Generally, payment on a salaried basis means that employees receive a predetermined amount of pay that can’t be reduced due to variations in the quality or quantity of their work. Employees must be paid their full salary for any week in which they:

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  • Perform any work, regardless of the number of hours or days worked; or
  • Are ready, willing, and able to work but unable to do so because no work is available.

Absences Due to Sickness or Disability

The regulations allow employers to make deductions from an exempt employee’s salary when:

  • He or she is absent for at least a full day because of sickness or disability (including work-related accidents);
  • The deduction is made in accordance with a bona fide sick or disability leave plan, policy, or practice of providing compensation for loss of salary occasioned by such sickness or disability; and
  • The employee has no leave available under the plan—for example, if he or she has not worked for the employer long enough to qualify for paid leave or has already exhausted the available leave allotment.

Partial-Day Absences Covered by Paid Leave

Deductions from paid leave (as opposed to deductions from an employee’s salary) do not impact an employee’s exempt status. This includes partial-day deductions.

FMLA leave

Employers that are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may reduce an eligible exempt employee’s salary for partial-day absences that constitute intermittent or reduced schedule leave under the FMLA. Online adult sex chat xxx free register today!

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Personal Leave

It is also permissible to make deductions from exempt employees’ salaries when they’re absent for at least a full day for personal reasons other than sickness or accident. Employers may not dock the salary of exempt employees who miss less than a full day for personal reasons. However, if an employer has a bona fide plan that covers personal leave (such as a PTO plan), partial-day absences may be deducted from that plan.

Military Duty, Jury Duty, and Witnesses in Court

When an exempt employee is absent for jury duty, attendance as a witness at a trial, or military duty, you can’t deduct the absences from her salary but can subtract the amount she receives in jury fees, witness fees, or military pay. If, however, an employee is gone for the entire week due to one of these reasons, you do not have to pay him or her for the week. That is because of the general rule that employees don’t have to be paid for any workweek in which they don’t perform any work.

Deductions for Safety Violations

If an employee violates a safety rule of major significance—defined as a rule that relates to the prevention of serious danger in the workplace or to other employees—the employer can dock his or her salary in any amount as a disciplinary measure.

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Suspensions for Workplace Misconduct

Under the Fair Pay regulations, employers are allowed to suspend exempt employees for less than a full week for violating “workplace conduct rules.” As with the leave-related absences discussed above, employers may suspend employees under this provision only in full-day increments. Note, however, that this is different from the rule regarding deductions for safety violations, which can be made in any amount.

The requirements for using disciplinary suspensions are:

  • The employee must violate a workplace conduct rule (such as your policies on harassment, discrimination, workplace violence, drug and alcohol use, and Internet and e-mail abuse).;
  • The suspension must be for one or more full days;
  • The punishment must be imposed in good faith; and
  • The punishment must be imposed pursuant to a written policy that’s applied uniformly to all workers.

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1 thought on “Danger Zone—Deductions from Salaried Employees’ Pay”

  1. Very important to be vigilant about exempt issues these days, with both the federal agencies and many states cracking down.

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