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Employment Law/Exempt employee status changed to non exempt to cut pay


I am an exempt employee with 24/7/365 accountability and recently my supervisor changed my status from exempt to non exempt for 1 day to keep me from being paid my days salary. He entered PTO because he said I didn't work enough hours that day to justify getting paid (on call 48 hours prior with no pay, 2 hours on site the day in question). Can an employer change your status because they feel like it?

Stella - Employers can change status from exempt to non-exempt, but not for one day and not to avoid paying an exempt employee the salary he or she is due.  Your supervisor should be reported to HR, where one would hope smarter minds have some control over this nonsense.  If you wish to challenge the matter, you should file a wage complaint with the federal Department of Labor.  They should help you to straighten this matter out.  I would advise going to someone in-house before taking it outside, for the sake of your continued employment with the employer.  They cannot fire you (legally) for filing a complaint, but most appreciate the opportunity to fix things before bringing in the big guns.  

Good luck.

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Margaret M. deMarteleire


I can answer most questions about employment law, federal or state. I am an attorney, not an HR professional, so questions about HR careers, coursework, prospects, etc. are not within my scope.


Attorney for 20 years, currently working exclusively with employment law - FLSA, FMLA, federal contracts, pay, etc.

Temple University School of Liberal Arts, BA, Rhetoric & Communication, 1982 Temple University School of Law, JD, 1990 Certificate in HR, Cornell University ILR School, 2006

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