Can an employer punish its employees by taking pay?

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Can an employer punish its employees by taking pay?

My employer takes money out of paychecks to cover mistakes/voids by its employees. They also threaten to take pay as punishment for not completing tasks on time. They also take a half hour break from employees everyday even if the employee is unable to take that break due to time constraints. I am a salaried employee without a contract. I have to work 48 hours per week. I average 60-70 per week. My employer has decided that I had substandard work last week and has decided to pay me for 48 hours at minimum wage. No overtime for the 8. My time clock states that I worked 67 hours that week.

Asked on August 2, 2011 Arizona

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Salaried employees are not to be docked pay for mistakes. If this was legal, we would all be working for free. If you are salaried, you are not and should not be checking in and out on a time clock so whether you take a break or not, you are still paid. You need to immediately talk to your state labor board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Keep stringent and organized records. You need to make sure you have any communications from your supervisor in writing and if this is a company-wide policy, make sure someone tells this to you in writing and bring that with you to the labor board. You cannot be fired in retaliation. If you are scared the labor board will not do anything, contact a labor lawyer and go about this in a private suit.


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