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).
Thus, there can be "permissible" and "impermissible" reductions in salary basis pay. Permissible reductions have no effect on the employee's exempt status. Impermissible reductions may, in that the general rule is that an employee who is subjected to impermissible reductions in salary is no longer paid on a salary basis, and is therefore nonexempt. However, employers have several avenues by which they can "cure" impermissible reductions in salary basis pay, and as a practical matter these make it unlikely that an otherwise exempt employee would become nonexempt because of salary basis pay problems.The salary basis pay requirement for exempt status does not
apply to some jobs (for example, doctors, lawyers and schoolteachers are exempt even if the employees are paid hourly).