Don’t dock exempt worker for partial-Day absence — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Don’t dock exempt worker for partial-Day absence

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Q. If an exempt employee has no more paid leave left, can he take a couple hours off without pay? We'd just manually adjust his salary to reflect this. —A.D., Pennsylvania

A. We'd advise against it. You should not deduct for a partial-day absence. Exempt workers who work any part of a day should be paid for the whole day. If you make a partial-day deduction, you could be risking that worker's exempt status. You can, however, make deductions if the employee is absent for a full day or more for personal reasons.

Also, you can't make discipline-related pay deductions from exempt workers' paychecks in anything less than one-week increments. That's current law. The Labor Department's big overtime proposal would let your company suspend exempt employees as discipline in one-day increments. That rule could take effect by early 2004.

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