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Employment Law: Docking Pay

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If an employee is a salaried exempt employee, there are situations when an employer may dock that employee’s pay. However, this is generally illegal in employment law, and doing so may cause an exempt employee to become eligible for overtime. Let’s take a look at when exempt employees may have their pay docked.

Employee Is Out of Work Due to FMLA

The Family Medical Leave Act allows employees to take time off to care for a sick relative or to tend to their own medical issues. In many cases, this means that an employee works fewer than 40 hours a week or on an irregular schedule. During the time in which FMLA leave is being used, an employee may be converted from salaried to a part-time worker without penalty.

Employee Has Quit During the Middle of a Week

If an employee quits his or her job during the middle of a workweek, that employee does not need to be paid for the entire week. The same rule applies if a worker starts his or her employment during the middle of a week. However, for the rest of the employee’s time with the company, he or she cannot be docked pay based on hours or days worked.

Employees Must Be Paid if They Are Willing to Work

If a company doesn’t have enough work for a salaried worker to do, that employee may not have his or her pay reduced by an employer. As long as the employee is willing to work and shows up as scheduled, he or she must receive a full paycheck for that week. In some cases, an employer may be able to avoid paying employees if they do not work at all during the week.

Safety Violations May Call for a Deduction

Employees who are cited for safety violations may have any fines deducted from their paycheck. It may also be possible to deduct pay for any days of work missed due to these violations. In the event that a worker misses less than a full day because of disciplinary reasons, it may not be possible to dock pay.

The rules surrounding docking the pay of an exempt employee can be complex and confusing. Generally, if the worker shows up, is ready to work and does his or her job properly, there is usually no reason to withhold any of his or her pay.

If you have been unfairly docked wages, there may be help for you. Contact Goldman & Ehrlich today online or call 312-332-6733.