Can an employer deduct pay if a salaried, exempt employee does not work a full 40 hours?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer deduct pay if a salaried, exempt employee does not work a full 40 hours?

My employer is threatening to deduct pay from my wages for not working a full 40 hours in previous pay periods. I have maxed out my 24 hours of sick pay and I am

not eligible for vacation pay for another 2 months but my employer said he may deduct hours from vacation pay or just deduct pay from my salary. I have never missed a full day without using sick pay and the hours missed have been 2-4 hours sporadically due to IEP and other school meetings for my special needs

child. Is this legal?

Asked on November 19, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you are salaried, an employer may not legally deduct for missed hours (the employer can deduct for entire missed days)--if the employer does, you could sue for the money or try filing a complaint with the department of labor.
Howver, you may be demoted, suspended, have salary cut, job changed, or be terminated for missing work, even for child care/eduction reasons, if you don't have and use paid time off you earned for the absence (or otherwise had employer approval). So while you can't have money deducted, you could legally lose your job.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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