Posted in Considering Legal Action on May 8th, 2011
If you are a worker paid a salary, then you may be ineligible for overtime pay, assuming other circumstances exist as well. (Being paid a salary is one of multiple criteria that must be met before an employer can consider you overtime-exempt).
However, some workers who are called “salaried” workers by their employers are not paid on a “salaried basis” as defined by overtime law, and are in fact eligible for overtime because of their non-salaried status under the law.
If an employer docks wages from a “salaried worker,” this can be a major no-no that can change the worker from “salaried” to hourly (overtime-eligible) status under the law.
For example, if on a given day a salaried worker leaves work four (4) hours early for personal reasons, an employer cannot dock the worker 4 hours wages for the missing work time. As another example, an employer cannot dock a salaried worker an 8 hour day if the employer did not have work available, but the worker was able and willing to work the 8 hour day.
There are some exceptions, and circumstances where an employer can dock pay without affecting a worker’s salaried basis status.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has a Fact Sheet describing the salaried basis test, and how an employer’s docking of a worker’s wages can mean a worker– despite being called “salaried”– is not salaried for overtime law purposes.
If you have been docked hours and wages, despite being told you are paid by salary, you may want to review DOL’s Fact Sheet above in detail, and other information about salaried basis pay and overtime laws, to clarify whether the employer should be paying you overtime wages.