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Human Resources/Docking a salary employee for 1 days pay


Can I reduce a salary employees pay for one day if he was given a written warning for substandard work and was told to stay home the next day from work?


Short answer--  no.

I can go into some details,  but will keep it short and simple.  You must pay the salary DOLLAR AMOUNT each work week, say  $500 -  or whatever it is weekly.    So, the person did terrible and you really want to punish them by "docking" and sending them home with no pay for a day.   First,  this may or may not really accomplish your goal of having the employee do work at the standard level you require.  But I understand your motivation.

You can still send the person home, but you must pay the salary according to the Fair Labor Standards Act  #FLSA#.   Of course, this isn't something you would allow to occur more than maybe twice.   Whats a better lesson?  Instead of sending them home,  have them focus on a day of training to do better quality work and put them on an improvement plan.  No improvement,  their days are numbered.

Some states allow the employer to substitute a day of the employee's vacation, personal or sick time during a day off.    So, you can send him home, pay the $500,  and $400 will be work pay and the $100 for the sent home day could be a vacation day of 8 hours.  I'm not sure how Florida state law is on this topic and not in a position to check into it today but just a thought.   You would typically also need to have a policy in your handbook  addressing this too.

IF you DO  DOCK and short the salary,  you, as the employer, are forfeiting your right to use the "exemption from overtime " rule  #called salary#  and what could happen is you begin treating salaried employees like hourly employees and now your  "salary- overtime exempt" status goes away, and all employees are treated as hourly.     In this example,  you could send an hourly employee home and hot pay them as non-exempt #hourly# employees are only paid for time they work-  not when they are sent home.

I hope this helps.

Brian Phillips
Harvis Human Resource Services

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Brian Phillips


Foreign and US university students -*PLEASE*- DO NOT waste your time asking for my opinions, comments or analysis of your homework questions. Homework questions are not answered and are rejected. I am happy to help answer questions asked by employees and employers regarding United States based state and Federal wage and hour, OT, Fair labor standards, FMLA, COBRA, Recruiting, Interviewing techniques, employee manuals, discipline, terminations/quits, unemployment, HRIS rollout, Employee Leasing or Staffing company cost analysis, day to day scenarios, work situations and more. Essentially a well rounded HR generalist who operates Harvis, Inc., a human resource consulting and service business based in Northeastern Pennsylvania "NEPA".


At Harvis, Inc., we provide Human Resource products, services and advice to small businesses that may not have the time or resources to hire a full time HR department. For larger companies with HR managers in place, we compliment their expertise to help with time consuming or time sensitive projects like updating policy manuals, screening and interviewing and more. We make workplaces better by becoming that 1/2 person they need to help handle HR responsibilities on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Formerly responsible for all Human Resource activity for a staffing agency with 2,500 annual employees as well as an employee leasing / PEO business with 1,500 annual employees. Designed and implemented the HR structure to support hundreds of clients in excess of $ 500 million in payroll volume over career in Human Resources.

* President 2006- Harvis Inc. HR Services * President 2010-13 Business Association of the Greater Shickshinny Area - Shickshinny PA * President 2013- ShickshinnyForward Not for Profit Community Long Term Revitalization Organization and former member of varios Chambers of Commerce and HR Taskforce, former President of NBC Business Club 2 years

Bloomsburg University - 1993 BS Marketing, Bloomsburg Pennsylvania and Luzerne County Community College - 1991 Business Administration, Nanticoke Pennsylvania

Awards and Honors
* Better than average - 20/10 vision * Bestowed with an occasional "Thank You" from clients and their employees.

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