Some employees are exempt from overtime and minimum wage laws because of the amount they are paid and various aspects of their work. These workers are paid on salary, instead of a fixed wage for the number of hours worked.
This obviously has advantages for the employee, but the employer may not like having to keep paying the employee if he or she does substandard work or he or she is not completing the amount of work the employer wants. While federal law prohibits an employer from docking pay of employees based on the quality or quantity of work, there are some situations where pay docking of salaried workers is permitted.
Below, the experienced Maryland employment lawyers at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices explain when employers can dock the pay of salaried employees. If you were illegally denied wages in violation of federal law, we are here to review your situation and provide trusted representation throughout the legal process. Schedule a free legal consultation right now.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets rules for docking pay for salaried employees. In most situations, this practice is illegal. Salaried employees, who are exempt from minimum wage and overtime requirements in the FLSA, must be paid a full weekly salary whenever work is performed, regardless of the number of hours or days worked. Salaried employees must also be paid if work is unavailable and the employee is able, ready and available to work.
However, there are some exceptions when an employer may be able to dock a salaried worker’s pay:
If your employer violates the pay docking rules willfully, your employer can be subjected to substantial penalties, such as the loss of the overtime exemption for the period when pay was illegally docked.
If you take your employer to court, it will consider several factors to determine whether the employer engaged in the actual practice of improper pay docking, including:
If the court determines that the employer engaged in improper pay docking, the employer loses its overtime exemption for the period during which it made the improper deductions. This can affect the amount of pay that you and other workers in the same job classification and under the supervision of the same manager were entitled to receive during this time period. Employees are entitled to their regular wages, plus overtime pay for any hours that exceed 40 hours in a workweek.
If the improper deduction only occurred one time or was not intentional, the employer does not lose the overtime exemption, provided it reimburses the employee for the amount of the improper deduction.
If you believe your pay was illegally docked, it is important to talk to a knowledgeable employment law attorney who can determine if you have legal options. The attorneys at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices are experienced at handling many types of wage and hour claims and can explain your rights during a free consultation.
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