Can You Dock An Employee’s Salary Pay If They Don’T Work 40 Hours?

By Jay White

June 7, 2015   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, you can’t dock the pay of salaried employees if they work less than 40 hours per week. A few exceptions do exist, namely for sick leave or similar reasons for absences over the course of an entire week. The FLSA dictates that you need to pay exempt employees an hourly wage up to 40 hours per week and then pay them overtime for any hours worked beyond that total. Salaried employees are considered non-exempt, so you’ll need to pay them their agreed-on flat salaries according to their work contracts.

<strong> FLSA-Exempt Employees </strong>

The FLSA does not apply to salaried workers with specific types of job roles, including executive and higher-level administrative roles. Certain professions also have applied minimum salary requirements dictated by the FLSA. For a salaried employee to be classified as exempt under this law, he or she must have an agreement in writing with his or her employer to be paid a set weekly salary regardless of the number of hours worked. These types of employees are protected under the law from having any pay docked based on determined quantity or quality of work performed during a given week.

<strong> Paid Time Off and Sick Leave </strong>

An exempt employee’s salary can be withheld under certain circumstances, namely personal days or sick leave. These situations can often permit one of these employees to use accumulated paid time off, depending on the specific company’s compensation polices. The pay of salaried workers can also be withheld during periods of disciplinary suspension for company rule violations.

Penalties for improper pay docking of salaried employees can vary depending on the number of violations and the time period during which these infractions occurred. FLSA legal representatives will also look at the original employment contract to determine how clearly the salaried compensation was spelled out between employer and employees. The most common penalty for salaried pay docking is a fine and a requirement of the employer to pay back the withheld compensation. Employers with fewer violations and who reimburse employees in a timely manner are usually subject to less strict penalties.

Jay White

I started Dumb Little Man many years ago so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone. I hope you find something you like!

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