Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Excempt/Salary employee and docked pay ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Excempt/Salary employee and docked pay
Category: Business and Money > Employment
Asked by: ukcoolcat-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 08 Jul 2004 09:12 PDT
Expires: 07 Aug 2004 09:12 PDT
Question ID: 371347
I currently work as an Exempt/Salary employee for a company in
Kentucky that is in the Technology sector.  My job consists of
providing technical work (software, hardware, etc) to our clients. 
The company has issued a memo stating that they will be deducting
money from our paychecks if we turn in some "paperwork" late.  The
paperwork is "timesheets" that is used internally only and not used to
generate revenue (billing a client, etc).  I thought I read that an
excempt employee cannot have his/her salary deducted for penalty or

Question: Can an Employee deduct money from an Excempt employee's
paycheck for penalty/punishment?
Subject: Re: Excempt/Salary employee and docked pay
Answered By: mwalcoff-ga on 08 Jul 2004 09:47 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

You are referring to the "no-docking rule." It greatly restricts when
employers can dock salaried employees' pay.

The Association of Corporate Counsel discusses this issue. Salaried
employees can be docked for missing entire days or weeks of work or
for "Good faith penalties for infractions of safety rules of major

"Deductions from a salaried exempt worker's base salary for reasons
other than full day absences are so disfavored that any deduction will
be scrutinized. While deductions are permitted to penalize salaried
workers who violate major safety rules, the Department of Labor or a
court rarely will  recognize "misconduct" as satisfying this exception
to the "no docking" rule.
Examples of violations of safety rules that may satisfy this standard
are set forth in the Wage-Hour Administrator's regulations, i.e.,
smoking cigarettes in an explosives factory or oil refinery. Thus,
unless the infraction is of comparable magnitude (which probably will
result in termination of employment, rather then a monetary penalty),
docking should be avoided as a means of
punishing violation of a work or safety rule."


The Western Colorado Human Resource Association says:

"Employees are not paid "on a salary basis" if their guaranteed
minimum pay may be reduced based on either the "quality or quantity"
of work performed. This is sometimes called the "no docking" rule.
Employees who are paid "on a salary basis" are therefore not generally
subject to reductions in pay or suspensions without pay for (most)
disciplinary violations."

Source: WCHRA, "Wage & Hour Law Summary,"

Scott McDonald of the labor law firm Littler Mendelson says companies
can almost never dock salaried employees for disciplinary reasons.
They can, however, fire them, demote them or reduce their salary going

Source: Scott McDonald, "Workforce Q&A," Business Report, July 2002,

So it seems your employer may very well be violating the law. However,
you should of course consult a labor lawyer before taking legal

I hope this answer meets your needs. If not, please request clarification.

Search strategy:

docking salaried employees

no-docking rule
ukcoolcat-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for the great answer.  This is well worth the $10 in proportion
to the amount of money the company is saying they will withhold.

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy