Can an exempt employee be paid less than salary?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an exempt employee be paid less than salary?

I recently started a new job in which I’m working 60 hours a week. However. I’m a salaried employee and

have not reached my 90 day mark. This is due to climate change in my environment at work so I had a sick day. Yet, I still worked physically more than 40 hours this week but was only paid 32 as I was told that I hadn’t accrued personal time yet.

Asked on January 3, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A salaried employee is not docked pay for missing some hours on a day or days he or she does at least some work: if you do any work that day, you are paid your salary. So if you go to work, then leave early due to not feeling well, you are paid.
BUT if you do no work on what is usually your workday--e.g. you miss a whole day due to being sick--the employer does not have to pay you for that day unless you have and use paid time off (e.g. sick days) to cover the absence. That is why salaried employees have sick days, after all: so they will be paid when they are out sick for a whole day.

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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