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In the Payroll mailbag this month …

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

The very merry month of May?

Mother’s Day, college graduations, tough payroll questions. Just par for the course, really. Please be aware that questions chosen for the Payroll Mailbag may be edited for space reasons. For a prompt response, email questions to PAYeditor@BusinessManagementDaily.com. Thanks for asking.

Is it OK to dock employees’ pay based on GPS readings?

Question: As per the company owners’ instructions, we dock employees’ pay based on information we get from GPS devices that are installed in company trucks. Our third-party payroll provider tells us that this may not be legal under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Can we rely on GPS data to dock employees’ pay?

Answer: You can, but it’s probably not a good idea to rely solely on GPS data. GPS data can tell you where employees are; they can’t tell you whether or not they’re working. If, for example, employees stopped somewhere along their routes for a short rest break, the GPS data will show only that employees stopped driving. Under the FLSA, rest breaks between five and 20 minutes are counted as working time.

What makes an employee exempt?

Question: A full-time, exempt employee will be cutting back her work hours from 40 per week, to 32. She’ll still be doing the same job and will receive the same pay. Does she retain her status as an exempt employee, even though she’ll be working fewer than 40 hours a week?

Answer: Yes. Whether employees are exempt under the FLSA doesn’t depend on how many hours they work, but on the duties they perform, and whether they currently receive at least $455 a week in salary. As long as your employee continues to meet the duties’ test for her position, she will remain exempt.


A step-by-step payroll compliance guide to each pay period, month and calendar quarter of the year is now available. Download it free here.

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