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Can an employer dock pay from a salaried worker?

Employees who have an annual salary rather than an hourly wage enjoy a lot of benefits. They have more freedom regarding what time they arrive and leave work. However, some salaried employees may hear from an employer that the company will dock their pay in the event that they fail to meet certain criteria. It begs the question, "are employers allowed to dock salaried employees' wages?"

In general, employers cannot dock a salaried worker's pay. This is in direct violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. However, an employer may still threaten this if the employee takes too much sick leave or vacation time off work. You should know your rights and realize when an employer crosses a line. 

Understanding the law under FLSA

The law states that an employee has a salary when he or she receives a predetermined amount of money every week that is at least $455. It also states that an employer cannot reduce or restrict pay as a result of the quality of the work provided. Additionally, an employee must receive this pay every week he or she performed work. 

Exceptions permitted under the law

Removing any amount of money from a worker's wages due to hours or minutes not worked would mean the employee is hourly, not salaried. Hourly employees are not exempt from such deductions set for by the FLSA. However, certain exceptions still exist where the boss can take out some of a worker's salary.

For example, if an individual has to leave work to go on jury duty, then the employer can offset the money the worker receives through jury duty from the salary. This is due to the fact that the person still receives the same amount of money he or she would have gotten at work. Additionally, employers can impose financial penalties in good faith in the event the employee commits a major safety infraction. 

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