Q. After the holidays, our hourly employees returned to pre-holiday productivity. But ourdidn’t. What can I do since their salaries aren’t dependent on how many hours they work? — F.R., Wisconsin
A. As long as you don’t dock pay from an, you are free to take disciplinary action whenever their performance isn’t up to snuff. With certain exceptions, exempt employees are entitled to their full weekly salaries in any workweek in which they perform work, regardless of variations in the quality and quantity of the work performed.
While you need to pay their full salaries when they perform any work, this doesn’t mean you have to tolerate substandard performance. One option: U.S. Department of Labor regulations say it is legal to set an established work schedule for exempt employees. Before implementing a schedule, make sure this is permissible under your state’s wage-and-hour laws, too.