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Employment Law/Changing Pay Periods for Salaried Employees


QUESTION: I started with a company as a salaried employee on 12/10/12, working 40 hours per week, Monday thru Friday. I was told that the pay period was from Thursday - Wednesday, so for my first check the pay period would end 12/19/12 and I would only be paid a prorated 64 hours for 8 days, which I was paid 64 hours my first check, and was paid 80 bi-weekly thereafter.

I left the company on 10/4/13 and was expecting my pay check to be for 56 hours to cover 9/26/13 - 10/12/13, but I only received pay for 40 hours. When I contacted them, I was told that they had changed the pay period at some point while I was there. Thru discussion, I found that the following pay after my first pay check, they, without my knowledge, changed the pay period to Sunday thru Saturday, or for the next check 12/23/12 - 1/5/13.

They never compensated me the addition 16 hours I would have been paid if they had that same pay period when I started, basically shorted me for the time I worked from 12/20/12 - 12/22/12. Shouldn't they have paid thru that additional period that they forwarded/changed the pay cycle? They seem to think because I was salaried, they don't have to.


ANSWER: Salaried is a bit different than hourly. You are not paid on the hours you work. Salaried employees are paid an annual salary divided into salaried amounts. It would not depend at all on hours worked. When they changed payperiods they may have picked it up on the salary. You have to look at your check stub and see if you have been paid the promised salary for the time you worked.  Dates and hours mean nothing in a salaried employee's check.

You should have the same salary each month and if it is a portion of a month they prorate and pay the portion worked in a percentage of the month.

Ask them how they calculated the amounts and make them show you why they do not owe you the money for the two days you feel is owed. If you still feel you have been cheated out of wages than contact the Department of Labor and put in a claim for the 16 hours. The Department of Labor will investigate and if they find you are indeed owend the 16 hours they will make the company pay it.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: If that is the case, then shouldn't they have paid me a full 80 hours on the first check? They weren't being consistent in the payment. They paid me the first pay check for only Monday thru Wednesday the first check for 64 hours, even though I worked Monday thru Friday. Then changed the pay period, so I was never paid for working that Thursday and Friday. So in essence, I worked 43 full weeks or 1720 hours while I was with the company, but was only paid 42 weeks and 3 days, or 1704 hours, of my salary.

Again, salaried wages are not paid on hours worked.

If you feel you are owed wages than file a claim with the Department of Labor. I do not know how they figured the wages for your first week. I do not figure wages on weeks or hours for salarried employees first week. It would be a percentage of the month worked using the formula of the annual wages paid.


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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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