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When Can We Deduct from an Exempt Employee’s Pay?

Question: When Can We Deduct from an Exempt Employee’s Pay?

Answer: In general, if an exempt employee performs any work during the workweek, you must pay them their full salary for that week. Deductions are allowed, however, for legally required withholdings and benefit elections.

There are a handful of other situations in which a deduction from an exempt employee’s salary would be permissible under federal law:

  • For any workweek in which the employee performs no work, including answering emails, texts, or phone calls.

  • In the initial or final week of employment based on the number of hours worked.

Answer. from Kim, SPHR, AAM, CPIW

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

This post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, accounting, or tax advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here was based on certain federal and/or state statutes and does not encompass all applicable requirements or other regulations that may exist, such as local ordinances or case law.


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