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Employment Law/Employer reducing hours for a salaried employee

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Question
My mom has worked for the same employer for almost 30 years. She is the office manager/receptionist for a doctor's office. For more than half of that time she has been a salaried employee. She normally works over 40 hours a week. She was recently notified that the office would be closed for a week due to the doctor's absence and during that week her hours would be reduced.  She was basically told she would have to limit her hours and would only get paid for the hours she actually goes in to the office for this week.  Can they change her to hourly for just the week even though she is salary? Shouldn't she get the same amount of pay regardless of the hours she works? Thanks for any help you can provide on this.

Answer
If she is truly a salaried employee and meets the definition of an exempt employee under the FLSA, then yes. If your mom works any hours during any work-week, she must receive 100% of her salary. If she works no hours during that week, the employer can reduce your mother's wages by an entire week. Employers cannot flip-flop the exempt status of an employee to benefit the business.

Shannon M. Reising, MSP, PHR  

Employment Law

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Shannon M. Reising, MSP, PHR

Expertise

FLSA, FMLA, Title VII, EEOC, AAP, ADAA, Workers Compensation, Payroll, HR Development and Training, Industrial/Organizational Psychology. My approach is from a scientific-practitioner perspective. Rather than basing ideology on pure white-paper study, I answer with a baseline of critical thinking seated in my position as an HR professional. I understand both the psychological underpinnings of both employers and employees, and how the law may be interpreted and applied in countless situations.

Experience

Over 10 years in HR of both non-profit and for-profit organizations ranging in size of population from 20-500 .

Organizations
Notary Public, HR Certification Institute, Society of Human Resources Management, NC Coastal Society of Human Resources Management, American Psychological Association

Education/Credentials
BSBA, MSP, Current Doctoral candidate in I/O Psychology, PHR accredited

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