Is it illegal for an employer to dock a salaried employee for taking time off for a death in the family?

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Is it illegal for an employer to dock a salaried employee for taking time off for a death in the family?

I have an understanding through a friend that it is illegal in OR to increase or decrease the amount of monthly pay for salaried employees. I’m considered salary and I make $505.03 every 2 weeks.  I’m documented as working 70 hours every 2 weeks. I am on a contract with a non-for-profit company, which lasts until 05/15. I do not have any paid days off available to me since I have used them already.

Asked on January 26, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) While a salaried employee would not lose pay for missing a few hours one day--just as, if they are exempt (see below) they would not get extra pay for working overtime--if they miss an entire day, they can have their pay that period reduced by a day. If you have used up paid time off but still miss days of work, you can therefore lose pay--that's the whole purpose of PTO: to let employees be paid while taking time off.

2) Even if you are paid on a salary basis, if you are not exempt from overtime, you must be paid overtime for any weeks you work more than 40 hours. Go the dept. of labor (DOL) website and check the tests for whether an employee is exempt: you may not qualify and therefore may be eligible for overtime. I believe your salary may be too low to be considered exempt (I think the threshold is around $400 - $450 per week, or $800 - $900 every 2 weeks).


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