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Employer Fines and employee rights Oklahoma

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  • Employer Fines and employee rights Oklahoma

    Is it legal to have a employee that is salaried, or paid on commission/draw basis sign a contract where the employer has the right to fine, and withhold monies owed for non compliance of rules and regulations. ie, $500.00 fine for missing a meeting. 100.00 for not wearing a pressed shirt. 250.00 fine for not collection money owed by a customer over 30 days late.
    First is the contract even legal to present, and second can employer legally withold commission, or salary based on the contract or employee agreement?

  • #2
    Hard to say. It would be necessary to go to the very beginning, look at the actual job duties and industry, and see what the actual legal requirements for that employee are. Examples:
    - Bill the Janitor who does janitorial type tasks, must be paid minimum wage and must be paid overtime or the FLSA law is violated. Under FLSA, what you describe could be legal if the remaining pay still covered MW or OT obligations.
    - Ted the very junior Executive is in charge of the Quick-E-Mart has 10 minimum wage direct reports. Ted works 100 hours per week, and is paid $455/week (the federal minimum for the Executive exception). Ted passes (barely) the duties test associated with Executive. If the employer fines Ted as much as a penny, they just flushed Ted's Exempt status for that week. If the employer does this a lot, they will probably flush Ted's Exempt status for the entire time he worked for them. The unpaid overtime would cost the company vastly more then any "fines" they could charge him.

    Now this is federal rules only. Your state is not my state and I have no idea what additional rules (if any) your state has. What I do know is your question does not really have a simple answer. One has to look one employee at a time, at all facts related to that employee, at the state law specific to that employee and at any actual company policies or related state laws. Just because something could be done legally does not mean that the company was smart enough to do so. What you describe is iffy at best. Smart employers would pay the employee exactly MW/OT, then have a conditional performance base bonus. Flushing the bonus in response to a bad act is likely legal, especially if the employee knows the rules ahead of time and either the MW/OT or minimum Exempt Salaried requirement is meet. But legally required base pay cannot be made discretionary by the employer.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)