If you missed our webinar, “Are You Ready For A Wage & Hour Audit,” earlier this month a recording of the program is available here. During and following the webinar, we received numerous questions surrounding wage and hour law issues– unfortunately many more than we could respond to during the program. In an effort to respond to your questions and to create a resource for our clients and other employers, we’re launching Wage & Hour Insights—a series of Franczek Radelet Alerts. On a regular basis, we will provide answers to frequently asked wage and hour questions, beginning with some of those we received from our webinar participants. If you have a wage and hour question that you would like us to answer, please contact Staci Ketay Rotman or Bill Pokorny.

We’ll start with some questions about deductions from the salary of exempt employees:

Q. When an exempt employee runs out of sick pay, can an employer deduct one day’s pay for the sick day?

A. Yes. Generally, exempt employees must be paid on a “salary basis,” meaning that they must be paid a guaranteed salary for each workweek, without any reduction due to the number of hours worked or the quality or quantity of work performed. However, deductions are allowed in certain limited circumstances. These include when an exempt employee is absent for one or more full work days due to personal reasons other than sickness or disability, or due to illness or an accident if the employee is covered under a sick-pay policy. If an exempt employee uses up all of his or her sick days under the sick leave policy, deductions may still be taken for any further full-day absences.

Q. Can we allow exempt employees to take sick or vacation time off by the hour or in half-day increments?

A. Yes, but once an exempt employee exhausts available sick leave, you can only take deductions for any future absences if the employee is absent for a full day, unless the absence is for intermittent or reduced-schedule FMLA leave. Visit our FMLA Insights blog for more practical insights on intermittent FMLA leave.