Magazine article HRMagazine

Must Suspended Employees Be Paid?

Magazine article HRMagazine

Must Suspended Employees Be Paid?

Article excerpt

Federal and state wage and hour laws determine the answer to that question. The key factor is whether the position is classified as exempt or nonexempt under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Collective bargaining agreements, as well as employer policies and practices, can also serve as a guide.

The FLSA generally requires nonexempt employees to be paid only for the time they are physically working and places no restrictions on an employer's ability to schedule or not schedule an employee for work. So, an hourly nonexempt employee could be suspended without pay for any amount of time.

One exception might be salaried nonexempt employees. The U.S. Department of Labor's Field Operations Handbook states that salaried nonexempt employees must be paid their full salary, "regardless of how few the scheduled hours may be in a particular week, even though occasional disciplinary deductions for willful absence or tardiness are made. Disciplinary deductions, of course, may not cut into the minimum wage or overtime pay required by the act."

Consult with an attorney before suspending a salaried nonexempt employee.

For exempt employees, the FLSA requires those paid on a salary basis be given their weekly salary with few exceptions. …

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