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Salaried employee and being docked... (IL)

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  • Salaried employee and being docked... (IL)

    I'm relatively well versed in labor laws but this question falls into an area I'm a bit shaky on.

    Company X allots an employee 6 sick days paid per year. Nice of them since I'm aware they aren't required to do this. But they do.

    Employee A uses those six days. And then calls in sick again. This employee is SALARIED.

    Situation A: Employee makes up the 8 hours within the work week and still has 40 or more hours for that week.

    Situation B: Employee does NOT make up the 8 hours within the work week and only has 32 hours for that week.

    Can the employee be docked pay in either case? I could see it in situation B but not in situation A. And by definition of salary being that the employee is paid irregardless of hours worked, I find situation B questionable as well... though I could definitely see this as being a disciplinary action situation....

    What does the law say pertaining to this?

    (Note this is all hypothetical and only for my own personal edification... No employees or employers were hurt in putting forth this question.)

    Thanks a lot in advance.
    Last edited by Kanati; 09-30-2005, 01:20 PM.

  • #2
    I assume you are talking about an exempt employee. Theoretically and legally, yes, even in situation B. The proration of salary in this case is based on the regularly scheduled days. The employee has absented himself for an entire regularly scheduled work day. The fact that he may work the additional hours is irrelevant.

    Having said that, however, it would be the petty employer who would dock an exempt employee when they are working all the extra hours for free.
    Last edited by Pattymd; 09-30-2005, 04:31 PM.
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    • #3
      Salaried is only a pay method. What matters is whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt. Either can be paid on a salaried basis; the only difference is that a non-exempt employee has to also receive OT if it is worked.

      A non-exempt employee does not have to be paid for any time he does not work, period, regardless of whether he is paid on an hourly wage or a salaried basis. I don't quite see the point of paying a non-exempt employee a salary and then docking them, but it is legal. If he makes up the time he has to be paid for it; if he doesn't make up the time, he doesn't have to be paid.

      An exempt employee can have their salary docked in a few limited circumstances. They are as follows:

      1.) If it is either the first or last week of employment and the employee does not work the entire week
      2.) If the employee is on FMLA
      3.) If the employer offers a bona fide sick time policy with a reasonable number of days; the employee either has used up all the sick time available to them or is not yet eligible for any sick time, and calls in sick (again).
      4.) If the employee voluntarily takes a day off for personal reasons (regardless of whether any vacation or personal time is available)
      5.) If the employee is suspended for a major safety violation
      6.) If the employee is suspended for the violation of a written company policy which is applicable to all employees and which relates to conduct (alcohol/drugs on duty/on premises; violence in the workplace; sexual harassment, etc.)

      Since in your case the employer offers six paid sick days, docking an exempt employee would be legal under #3. This is true in both of your hypotheticals since working the extra eight hours does not entitle an exempt employee to additional compensation. I agree with Patty that it would be petty of the employer to dock under these conditions, but it would nonetheless be legal.
      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.


      • #4
        Your answers are very much appreciated and clears up a nagging question that some co-workers occasionally come to me with. (I tend to be the unofficial mediator at work since I've been there longer than anyone else).

        Thanks again.


        • #5
          Just as a piece of added information, given my six criteria above, the only one in which the docking can occur in partial day increments is #2. In all other cases, if the employee works any part of the day, they have to be paid for the entire day, although in almost all cases vacation or sick time can be docked.
          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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