Must we pay workers who have been suspended? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Q. We recently sent an employee home for not following his supervisor’s instructions. Do we have an obligation to pay him for the full day regardless? How should we handle this situation in the future? Is this considered administrative leave?

A. It sounds as if this employee is nonexempt. If that is the case, he needs to be paid only for the hours he actually worked. You don’t need to pay him for the time after you sent him home.

If he is an exempt employee, however, you generally must pay for part-day absences, even if you sent the employee home. You may deduct that time from a paid time off (PTO) bank, but the time must still be paid.

In limited circumstances, an exempt employee may be suspended for one or more full days without pay. That usually involves serious violations of workplace conduct rules such as sexual harassment, workplace violence or drug/alcohol use.

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