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  1. #1

    Default Paid a Salary but Docked on an Hourly Basis for Absences

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Missouri

    I have been with my employer for 9 months, and in that time have taken 2 sick days, 1 day due to weather, and left early on 2 days. I am paid a weekly salary of $500, and work 9 hours a day for, M-F, with no designated lunch period. Each day I have missed I have been docked $100, and $10/hr on partial days. I recently did some research through the DOL that has caused me to question the legality of this, and was hoping someone here could shed some light on the situation. If I'm correct in understanding the labor laws, a salaried employee cannot be docked hourly for partial days, or days missed due to sickness or accident, correct?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,839

    Default Re: Paid Salary but Docked Hourly

    Are you a non-exempt employee? If not, they definitely can dock you for hours not worked. "Salary" doesn't really mean anything. Most likely your "salary" is contingent on you working your stated hours.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Paid Salary but Docked Hourly

    If I'm correct in understanding the labor laws, a salaried employee cannot be docked hourly for partial days, or days missed due to sickness or accident, correct?

    Not correct. An SALARIED EXEMPT employee cannot be docked hourly for partial days (some exceptions apply) and whether they can be docked for days missed due to illness depends on the overall sick time policy. However, all salaried employees are not exempt (and not all exempt employees are salaried).

    We do not have anything like enough information to say if you are salaried exempt or salaried non-exempt, but if you are salaried non-exempt you have no legal expectation of being paid when you do not work, regardless of how you are paid.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Paid Salary but Docked Hourly

    So under the FLSA, this paragraph only applies to exempt employees?

    "With some exceptions, the base pay of a salary basis employee may not be reduced based on the "quality or quantity" of work performed (provided that the employee does "some" work in the work period). This usually means that the base pay of a salary basis employee may not be reduced if s/he performs less work than normal, if the reason for that is determined by the employer. For example, a salary basis pay employee's base pay may not be reduced if there is "no work" to be performed (such as for a plant closing or slow period), and a salary basis employee's base pay may not be reduced for partial day absences. However, employers may "dock" the base pay of salary basis employees in full day increments, for disciplinary suspensions, or for personal leave, or for sickness under a bona fide sick leave plan (as for example if the employee has run out of accrued sick leave)."

    Also, since I am not exempt, I should earn overtime, correct? Despite working 45 hours a week minimum, I do not.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Paid Salary but Docked Hourly

    Are you telling us as a matter of fact that you are a salaried non-exempt employee? If you are non-exempt, your employer can offer you a salary based upon the number of hours in your work week, as long as the compensation is consistent with minimum wage laws -- an agreed 45 hour work week would be compensated based upon 40 hours of the regular hourly wage and 5 hours at time-and-a-half. If your employer expects you to work 45 hours per week and pays you $500 for that agreed amount of time, then that translates into a wage of roughly $10.52 per hour, an amount that exceeds minimum wage. If you work more than the agreed 45 hour work week you should receive overtime pay based upon your hourly rate of compensation.

    You should be able to determine from the deductions whether your employer is properly calculating your wage based upon an hourly wage and overtime laws -- for example, if your employer is deducting $12.50 per hour for each hour you miss work, such that if you work 43 hours your wages are reduced by $25 to $475, then your employer is not properly calculating either your wage or your overtime pay. On the other hand, if your employer is reducing your pay for two missed hours by $15.79 for the first five hours, and by $10.52 for any additional missed hours, then your employer is consistently applying an hourly wage of $10.52. (Note that those numbers are rounded, so depending on the number of hours at issue there can be some variation in the pennies.)

    There's a fluctuating workweek rule that can apply to some non-exempt salaried employees, but from what you've told us it does not apply to you (no agreement between you and your employer, your workweek is predictable and your hours never drop below 40, your employer wants to deduct for missed hours). (Under a fluctuating workweek you cannot be docked for missed partial days of work.) Absent a similar restriction, a salaried non-exempt employee's wages can be reduced based upon hours not actually worked.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    24,488

    Default Re: Paid Salary but Docked Hourly

    Quote Quoting Gokussj5okazu
    View Post
    So under the FLSA, this paragraph only applies to exempt employees?

    "With some exceptions, the base pay of a salary basis employee may not be reduced based on the "quality or quantity" of work performed (provided that the employee does "some" work in the work period). This usually means that the base pay of a salary basis employee may not be reduced if s/he performs less work than normal, if the reason for that is determined by the employer. For example, a salary basis pay employee's base pay may not be reduced if there is "no work" to be performed (such as for a plant closing or slow period), and a salary basis employee's base pay may not be reduced for partial day absences. However, employers may "dock" the base pay of salary basis employees in full day increments, for disciplinary suspensions, or for personal leave, or for sickness under a bona fide sick leave plan (as for example if the employee has run out of accrued sick leave)."
    Yes. I am telling you that under the FLSA, that paragraph only applies to salaried-exempt employees.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Paid Salary but Docked Hourly

    Thank you for the thorough explanation. It doesn't appear that my employer is calculating my wage or overtime correctly. I normally receive $500 for 45 hours like you said, but am always docked $100 per day or $20 per hour missed. So something is screwey.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    1,142

    Default Re: Paid Salary but Docked Hourly

    And why not deal directly with the DOL (you can call the number) on this specific question? They'll listen to your situation, exactly, and instead of giving you the laws to interpret, they'll interpret them for you. Can even intervene for you if you're not being paid in accordance with DOL requirements.

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