Q. All our department managers are salaried. When they’re hired, they agree in writing to work at least 50 hours per week. If they miss a day or work only 45 hours in a week, can we deduct from their salaries? — B.L., Florida
A. If these salaried department managers have been properly classified as exempt, you should understand that employers are very restricted in docking the salaries of . If, instead, you are speaking about salaried, nonexempt employees, that’s a different issue. For purposes of this question, I’ll assume your question deals with exempt employees.
Federal law says employers can’t dock exempt employees’ salaries for any partial-day absences (excluding partial-day absences under the , such as ).
Employers can only dock an ’s salary for a full-day absence for “personal reasons” or for sickness or disability pursuant to a company policy or . A few other exceptions apply, which involve violations of workplace conduct and safety rules of major significance, but those matters don’t appear to be at issue here.
Bottom line: You can’t dock these employees simply because they worked a few hours short of 50 hours per week. You can dock their salaries only for the few reasons specified under the . You also should review state and local wage laws, which may have additional limits on salary docking.
- Suspect FMLA mischief? Use certification before taking drastic action
- Good sense or meddling? Scotts' no-Smoking policy tested in court
- Give staff at least 15 days to obtain FMLA certification
- Warning: Draft clear compensation agreements to avoid needless litigation
- Accommodation can include FMLA leave to avoid OT