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Employment Law/Withholding pay from salaried Employees


Can an employer withhold pay from an exempt employee for failure to complete a timesheet? If so, under what circumstances is this allowed? Are there regulations that can be cited to support the answer?

No an employer cannot withhold pay from an exempt employee for failure to complete a timesheet. The employee must be paid whether or not a timesheet exists and whether the employee is exempt or non exempt.

This is because the Department of labor holds the employer responsible for know when the employees are working and when they are not working.

It is the employer's responsibility to keep track of all hours worked and pay for these hours by the statutory deadline for payment of wages.
If an employee does not turn in a timesheet, it does not relieve the employer's obligation to keep track of the hours and pay the employee. The employer may write up, verbally warn, or immediately terminate the employee who is late turning in a timecard, but the hours worked must still be paid.

The main issue is that there are no significant penalties for late payroll while the employee is still employed. The only real penalty is a civil penalty which requires a great deal of procedures to be followed before you can sue for it. This is why many companies can get away with delaying pay until a card is submitted. It is really just a case of the technicallities of the law requiring one thing, and the realities of enforcement allowing a very different practice to take place.


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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).


30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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