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suspending someone without pay Washington

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  • suspending someone without pay Washington

    I've searched on line, and can't really seem to find the answer i'm looking for so i'm hoping this forum can at least point me in right direction.

    As part of a "progressive discipline" approach, an employee was suspended for one day w/o pay.

    1. Is suspending someone w/o pay legal?

    2. Is it normal to suspend someone w/o pay, and then force two other people to work overtime to cover the shift of the suspended person?

    thanks for any information.

  • #2
    1.) It is quite legal to suspend a non-exempt employee without pay. In some, but not all instances, it is also legal to suspend an exempt employee without pay.

    2.) There is nothing illegal about requiring other employees to cover for the suspended employee, even to working overtime, if that is your concern.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      This can be complicated. Pay is normally based on time actually worked. Stop the employee from working and you mostly can stop paying them. However federal (FLSA) is basically "exceptions" are us and there are indeed some exceptions.
      - If an employer legally chooses to pay an employee as Exempt Salaried, then they no longer have to pay overtime. However this free-overtime comes at a cost, and that is restrictions on docking the salary, which could include what you are talking about. Since no one forced the employer to make any employee Exempt Salaried, the employer has no legal grounds to complain about complying with the rest of the deal (docking restrictions).
      http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...CFR541.602.htm
      - Non-Exempt employees can be paid using a number of different methods as long as minimum wage and overtime rules are complied with. Most NE Salaried employees are paid under the 29 CFR 778.113 rules, which do not have docking restrictions. However there are some fairly obscure NE Salaried payment methods (Fluctuating Workweek, Belo Plan) that alter the overtime requirement in the employer's favor but also which place docking restrictions on the base salary. This is another example of if the employer did not want to comply with the docking restrictions then the employer should not have chosen to use these payment methods.
      http://payroll-taxes.com/articles/sa...ernatives.html
      - These are not the only exceptions, but there is a common theme. If the employer chooses to use a classification or pay method that gives them certain savings in paid overtime, then the employer also has legally chosen to follow the docking restrictions and other fine print rules associated with these choices. You might be looking for a one-size-fits-all answer that does not exist.

      With very few exceptions such as airline pilots and minor children employees, almost any employer can make almost any employee work almost any hours that the employer wishes. The presence or absence of a suspension on one employee does not alter this basic fact for other employees. A contract or CBA obviously could alter this.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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      • #4
        thanks for the quick feedback. I blv we are non-exempt (salaried employees) and i think that is what had me a bit confused.

        Appreciate all the help.

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