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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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My son works for a company in California,he is a salary employee

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My son works for a company in California,he is a salary employee and has been with the company 1 1/2 years. Since beginning employment he was docked 4 days pay for being sick with doctors letter that he could not work. 3 days pay when sent home by supervisor for non performance of a job he wanted done. And 1 day for a closed holiday because he took personal day off day after holiday. On all days off he worked that same week so that no full week off was involved. Question:is he entitled to get 8 days pay by law.
Federal law (29 CFR § 541.602) permits deductions from a salary-exempt employee's pay in seven circumstances:

  1. Absence from work for 1 or more full days for personal reasons, other than sickness or disability;
  2. Absence from work for 1 or more full days due to sickness or disability if the deduction is made under a bona fide plan policy or practice of providing compensation for salary lost for these reasons. See Webster v Public Sch. Employees of Wash., Inc. (9th Cir 2001) 247 F3d 910 (employee did not lose exempt status when accrued leave time was docked for partial-day absences);
  3. To offset any amounts received as payment for jury fees, witness fees, or military pay;
  4. To impose penalties for violating workplace safety rules of major significance (as long as those penalties are imposed in good faith);
  5. Unpaid disciplinary suspension of 1 or more full days imposed in good faith for violations of workplace conduct rules (e.g. rules prohibiting sexual harassment, workplace violence, etc.);
  6. Proportionate payment of an employee's salary to reflect time actually worked in the first and last weeks of employment; or
  7. Unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act

Based upon your stated facts: (1) the four days with doctor's excuse are not deductible from salary unless there is a bona fide plan to compensate the employee during the sick time (such as separate sick days which will pay for the time off); (2) the three days for nonperformance are only deductible if consistent with a violation of the written policy concerning conduct while at work; and (3) the deduction for the personal day is only deductible if the employee did not have any available personal leave time as part of the employment agreement.

So, while there is still some uncertainty in outcome here, the weight of the facts and law seems to favor your son. He can file a complaint with the DSLE, if he wants to resolve the matter. Retaliation by an employer for an employee's filing of a wage claim gives rise to a seperate legal action against the employer -- so your son is protected from retaliation should he decide to complain.

Hope this helps.

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