A salaried employee classified as “exempt”, is an employee who is paid for completed work rather than the amount of hours worked. Under Federal minimum wage standards, an exempt employee that earns a salary must make a minimum of $23,600 yearly no matter how many hours they put in. For an exempt employee, every paycheck is typically for the same amount, there are usually no deductions in pay, whether or not there had been a drop in hours at work.
Exempt workers are typically paid for completed tasks or projects, therefore, they normally have more flexible hours than most hourly wage employees [non-exempt]. Those who earn money based on their hours worked can be docked for tardiness, breaks, and days off, whereas exempt workers are not held to such a restricted work schedule. Some employees believe that being a salaried worker is beneficial in that time worked is not as important as work completed; where exempt employees have no reason to worry about how many hours they work.
When it comes to exempt employees and paycheck deductions there are several rules and regulations that both the employer and employee must abide by, so it is best to consult our employment attorney if there is confusion about an employee’s status and salary. Employers can legally deduct an exempt employee’s pay if they have performed no work for the entire week. Also, an employer can deduct pay if an exempt employee is absent for a full day for reasons other than accidents or illness. An employee can lose their exempt status due to pay deductions. Under Federal minimum wage standards, exempt employees must make a minimum of $455 a week, otherwise their exempt status is put in jeopardy and they may become an hourly employee.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not allow deductions from exempt employees. The money they earn is not based on hours, days, quantity, or quality of their work. Illegal pay deductions for exempt employees include being docked for business trips or working slow. If an exempt employee is absent from work due to a work related trip and they are docked on their pay it is a violation of FLSA regulations. Also, if an exempt employee follows the guidelines of time off and work completed they cannot be docked on their pay for how little work they completed.
If there is a situation where an exempt employee is given illegal deductions due to an isolated incident and the company does not correct it then the best course of action would be for that employee to seek a labor law attorney. We are employment attorneys that help employees correct their employer’s mistakes for paying wages and salaries. In cases with evidence of obvious illegal practices, we file claims against employers on a contingency fee basis. Exempt and non-exempt employees have differently designed regulations under the FLSA and our employment lawyers make sure that all employees are treated fairly.
If you have questions about exempt versus non-exempt classifications and salary calculations, call our employment attorney today and discuss your situation for free. At Consumer Action Law Group, our labor lawyers are available to help employees with questions, and most legal advice is free on the first call. Ask your questions today, call 818-254-8413 and talk to a lawyer for free.