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Hyattsville, MD |

The Holidays are coming and my employer has decided to close the day before Christmas and Christmas, both are work days. I am a salaried not hourly employee. My employer is going to deduct money from my check for these days if I do not take a vacation day. Is this legal.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Dear "My Boss is The Grinch That Stole My X-Mas Pay":

    You need to speak with a lawyer who is experienced in wage/hour law. There may be more going on here then even meets the eye. For example, you may still be entitled to overtime pay in weeks in which you work more than 40 hours, even if you receive a salary. It depends on your job duties.

    With respect to deductions from salaried employees, this may implicate the employer's right to maintain you as a potentially exempt employee. Even if your duties are true management, professional, etc., they may result in a loss of the exemption if they dock your salary under certain circumstances. Generally, partial day docks are not permitted but full day docks are permitted.

    I would be happy to research this question more carefully for you, on a gratis, basis. You are free to call me if you wish. My practice concentrates on these sorts of issues.


    Howard B. Hoffman, Esq.

    PS - I would recommend that you contact a lawyer who can consult with you on a gratis basis, but not pay a consult fee for a matter such as this.

  2. see

    DOL Home > elaws Advisors > FLSA Overtime Security Advisor
    elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses - FLSA Overtime Security Advisor

    Compensation Requirements


    In addition to meeting certain duties tests, to qualify for exemption under the Regulations, Part 541, generally an employee must be paid at a rate of not less than $455 per week on a salary basis. As a general rule, if the exempt employee performs any work during the workweek, he or she must be paid the full salary amount. An employer may not make deductions from an exempt employee's pay for absences caused by the employer or by the operating requirements of the business. If the exempt employee is ready, willing and able to work, an employer cannot make deductions from the exempt employee's pay when no work is available.

    To qualify for exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and meet certain compensation requirements. Job titles do not determine exempt status. You should also review the other sections of this Advisor for help in determining whether the employee meets the duties tests for exemption.

    Are any deductions allowed?

    What kinds of deductions are not allowed?

    What is the effect of isolated or inadvertent improper deductions?

    What if the improper deductions are not isolated or inadvertent?

    How do you distinguish between isolated or inadvertent improper deductions and an actual practice of making improper deductions?

    What if the employer does not reimburse the employee for the deductions?

    Are any deductions allowed?

    Deductions from pay are allowed:

    When an 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 temporary military duty pay;
    For penalties imposed in good faith for infractions of safety rules of major significance;
    For unpaid disciplinary suspensions of one or more full days imposed in good faith for workplace conduct rule infractions;
    In the employee's initial or terminal week of employment if the employee does not work the full week, or
    For unpaid leave taken by the employee under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

    In addition, deductions may be made from the pay of an exempt employee of a public agency for absences due to a budget-required furlough, and special rules apply when such employees take partial-day (or hourly) absences not covered by accrued leave.

    Each of these allowable deductions is described elsewhere in the Compensation Requirements section.

    [Back to Top]

    What kinds of deductions are not allowed?

    Deductions for partial day absences generally violate the salary basis rule, except those occurring in the first or final week of an exempt employee's employment or for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. If an exempt employee is absent for one and one-half days for personal reasons, the employer may only deduct for the one full-day absence. The exempt employee must receive a full day's pay for the partial day worked. Other examples of improper deductions include:

    A deduction of a day's pay because the employer was closed due to inclement weather;
    A deduction of three days pay because the exempt employee was absent for jury duty;
    A deduction for a two-day absence due to a minor illness when the employer does not have a bona fide sick leave plan, policy or practice of providing wage replacement benefits; and
    A deduction for a partial day absence to attend a parent-teacher conference.

  3. Generally speaking, an employer can't do that with a "salaried" employee ... at least not a legitimately salaried employee. You should have a consult with an attorney about this. There may be other things going on here --- e.g. what are you job duties, training, title etc? It may be that your employer is stepping into something with this --- quickly action may actually be to everyone's advantage (including both you and your employer).

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