Can an employer deduct pay/PTO time if they aren’t paying OT to salary employees?

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Can an employer deduct pay/PTO time if they aren’t paying OT to salary employees?

My employer is deducting time for being late 1 hour to 4 hours at a time from PTO time and if you don’t have it from your check. Even if you had worked over the previous day by that amount. We are paid 15th and last day of every month. Also, no one makes 50k or more but yet no one gets OT. Under new laws, isn’t there suppose to be OT? What little PTO time is earned gets depleted for every little thing even when working over 40 hours in a week. How to proceed?

Asked on June 5, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

1) You can't deduct missed time (e.g. from PTO) or pay for missed pay from salaried employees. Salaried employees are paid the same as long as they work at all on a normally scheduled work day. If a salaried employee misses an entire day, they have to use a day of PTO or else lose a day's pay, but time for salaried employees is only counted in full day increments.
That doesn't mean that salaried staff can miss work with impunity: if you are late, leave early, etc. the employer is free to fire you, or suspend, demote, etc. you, but they can't deduct pay or PTO. Again, only full day absences allow debiting PTO or reducing pay.
2) No, the minimum that a salaried employee must earn to be exempt from overtime is only $455/week, or $23,660 per year. An Obama-era change that would have raised it to $47k/year was struck down by a Texas federal court.


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