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Deducting Off Days Under the Fair Labor Standard Act

By: Virtus Law Group, Birmingham Alabama.


Alabama does not have state specific wage and overtime laws; therefore, Alabama follows federal wage and overtime laws.  Specifically, the federal law is the Fair Labor Standard Act.  It outlines federal laws for wage and overtime compliance and violations.  One of the most complicated principles in the FLSA is deducting off days from exempt employees.

Deducting off days from an exempt employee under the Fair Labor Standard Act can be very intricate and confusing.  An exempt employee under the Fair Labor Standard Act is one that is not eligible to receive overtime pay and is excluded from minimum wage requirements. One of the main differences between exempt employees and non-exempt employees is that exempt employees receive a salary for the work they perform, while non-exempt employees earn an hourly wage.

Specifically, when discussing deducting off days, employees cannot make deductions from pay for issues caused solely by the employer.  Employers also cannot make deductions if there is no work available for the employee to complete.

However, there are some specific deductions in pay that are allowed.  First, if an employee is absent for one or more days for personal reasons, an employer can make a deduction. If an employer has a specific policy to compensate employees that are out on sick or disability leave, days can be deducted.  Employers can also deduct to offset amounts for jury/witness fees if an employee is required to be in court.  Employers can make deductions to offset military pay.  Another deduction employers can make is a deduction for unpaid disciplinary issues.  For instance, if an employee is placed on unpaid leave due to some violation of company policy, the employer can make a deduction for those days missed.  Finally, an employer can make deductions if an employee goes out on leave under the Family Medical Leave Act.

The FLSA has several deductions that are not allowed.  For example, if an employee is absent from work for a partial day, a deduction by the employer is not allowed under the FLSA.  If an employer has to close the business due to inclement weather, a deduction is not allowed under the FLSA.  A deduction for sickness or disability leave is not allowed if there is not a company policy in place for compensation other than salary.  Deductions are also not allowed if an employee has to miss a partial day to attend a parent teacher conference.

If an employer makes an improper deduction, there are some remedies that are available to the employee.  First, an employer can simply reimburse the employee the money that was improperly deducted.  However, if the employer does not reimburse the employee, the salary basis rule does not apply, and the employee is no longer considered a salaried employee during the time of the improper deduction.

The Fair Labor Standard act can be very confusing and difficult to navigate.  If you believe your employer has made improper deductions in pay or paid you improperly, give the experienced attorneys at Virtus Law Group a call.


Founded in Birmingham, Alabama Virtus Law Group is a Personal Injury and Labor and Employment firm serving the people of Alabama.



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