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Faye Lee
Faye Lee, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Have 30 years experience in labor/employment law.
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Can a salaried, exempt, employee be suspended without pay and

Resolved Question:

Can a salaried, exempt, employee be suspended without pay and holiday pay? A supervisor in my company was suspended for not calling off of work when he was sick. We suspended him for 3 days, no pay and no Thanksgiving Holiday pay. Is this legal. I have my doubts.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Faye Lee replied 7 years ago.
Hello, was the suspension a form of punishment to help prevent the employee from doing the behavior again or was it for investigative reason and punishment decided later?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

He was sick last week. He did not call off on Thursday, however he called off on Friday to the Sick Mail box that is set up for our employees. His immediate supervisor is suspending him because he says he did not call him personally. There is no policy in house that says a supervisor must contact him personally. Further, other supervisors call in to the Sick Mailbox when out. This employee is responsible for 2 shifts and therefore works in excess of 8 hours per day but is not paid any overtime and not required to punch the time clock. This situation gets worse. I am his wife and also the director of HR for this company. I was not consulted in the discipline for obvious reasons. This was a form of punishment to help prevent him from not calling in when sick.


If you need any further info, please ask. Thanks.

Sarah Perles

Expert:  Faye Lee replied 7 years ago.
<Thanks for the further information.Recognize deduction from exempt level employees maybe made when an employee is absent from work within full days . Deduction from pay of exempt employees maybe made for unpaid disciplinary suspension of one or more full days imposed in good faith for infraction of workplace conduct rules.

However there are strict laws which allows such deduction/suspension of exempt employees wages. There must be a written policy applicable to all employees and the suspension without pay apply for serious misconduct , not performance or attendance violation. The provision refer to serious misconduct. Therefore your spouse violation would not be classified as seroius and is in violation of the exempt suspension rule under the Fair Labor Standard Act.

Because your spouse is exempt which what you stated above then he would not be eligible for overtime pay.
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