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I work in an IT department in a company where most employees are paid by the hour. I am part of a small number of salaried employees. In recent months, I've had to take some time off for health reasons. Normally I get docked a day's pay for every day I miss. I've confirmed with my manager and I am up to date on my work despite all the days off I've had to take.

I recently had to take a few hours off during the week, leaving me with 36/40 hours worked. Upper management has told me that unless I use paid time off to cover those hours, they will be docked from my next paycheck.

That sounded suspicious, so I've been reading online and it sounds like employers are not allowed to cut less than a full day from a salaried employee's pay. Is this true? And what can I do about it?

I am located in Florida, US.

closed as off-topic by Chris E, Jim G., Garrison Neely, Michael Grubey, Kate Gregory Jan 23 '15 at 23:37

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  • 4
    Why does it sound suspicious to have a reduction in pay for working less? – enderland Apr 9 '13 at 14:45
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    Are you salaried or hourly? Your question mentions that most people in your department are hourly. If we're to assume that you're not hourly, then it's possible that upper management doesn't realize you're the outlier in the department. If you were hourly, then obviously the normal practice would be to dock your pay for hours not worked. – acolyte Apr 9 '13 at 14:51
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    Have you consulted an attorney? – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 9 '13 at 16:00
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    Have you looked at the terms of your contract/your company's employee handbook? – acolyte Apr 9 '13 at 18:01
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    Be careful what you wish for. They may indeed end up docking a full days pay for the couple of hours you took off and setup a not so pleasant precedent in the process. While employers tend to forget the "extra" hours beyond 40 that salaried employees put in, they seldom miss the less than 40 hours worked part. Your best bet is to simply see if you can make up the time and leave it at that. Unless you don't care about getting the axe. Also, most people on this site would be working 20 hour work weeks if all they had to do was get their weeks work done and get to go home. – Dunk Apr 9 '13 at 21:19
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I am not a lawyer, this is merely research I've done through Google. Please consult with a lawyer on the legality of such actions...

Here is the information I was able to find pertinent to Salaried Exempt workers (salaried workers who are basically not payed for overtime).

Circumstances in Which the Employer May Make Deductions from Pay

Deductions from pay are permissible when an exempt employee: is absent from work for one or more full days for personal reasons other than sickness or disability; for absences of one or more full days due to sickness or disability if the deduction is made in accordance with a bona fide plan, policy or practice of providing compensation for salary lost due to illness; to offset amounts employees receive as jury or witness fees, or for military pay; for penalties imposed in good faith for infractions of safety rules of major significance; or for unpaid disciplinary suspensions of one or more full days imposed in good faith for workplace conduct rule infractions. Also, an employer is not required to pay the full salary in the initial or terminal week of employment, or for weeks in which an exempt employee takes unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/fairpay/fs17g_salary.htm

  • There is actually a slight difference between "salaried" and "exempt"; it is possible to be salaried yet still non-exempt. – Adam V Apr 9 '13 at 15:47
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    In the US, no that is not legal for salaried (exempt) workers appears to be a legal opinion. I would suggest rewording it to say it would appear to, or providing credentials for providing the legal opinion. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 9 '13 at 15:54
  • @AdamV thank you I have modified first line to try to address this please let me know if I am incorrect. – user8588 Apr 9 '13 at 16:07
  • @Chad I've attempted to reduce it from being a legal opinion but I'm not 100% on what counts as a legal opinion and what does not. Please by all means let me know or just straight up edit the post if you would like. – user8588 Apr 9 '13 at 16:08
  • @NtscCobalt basically, anything that brings up the word of law as a definitive/semi-definitive (definitive with conditions) answer seems to be legal advice. realize that it's actually illegal to provide true legal advice if you are not certified as a lawyer. This is in place to protect people seeking legal advice, from false and/or malicious "lawyers". If chad or some other more experienced member feels my comment is in error, please let me know and i'll delete it, but this is how I've personally interpreted the legal policy on wp.SE – acolyte Apr 9 '13 at 16:39

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