Bad advice can do damage.
Just the phrase-–improper deductions–sounds rather vague. That gives some employers the idea they can take large liberties (improper liberties) with this concept. Here’s some of the worst advice we’ve heard about improper deductions.
Improper Deductions? Improper Advice!
“Lots of people work overtime and aren’t paid for it–you see it in movies all the time!”
This demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the difference between an exempt employee and a non-exempt employee. Exempt employees are not legally required to be paid overtime. They are paid on a salary basis–not an hourly one, earn more than $23,600 per year, and perform an exempt job.
What’s an exempt job? Think of the movies. The high-powered executive burns the candle at both ends, the lawyer gets calls in the dead of night, doctors can be on standby and end up working crazy hours. Those are just three of the professions that are considered exempt from the FLSA (the same FLSA that protects non-exempt workers from being taken advantage of). Others have similarly high levels of education and training that go along with the job. Certain creative professions are also exempt: writers, musicians, actors, and journalists. Administrative work is also frequently exempt, but that doesn’t mean that they are protected from employers making improper deductions! That brings us to our next bad piece of advice…
“Those aren’t improper salary deductions, for exempt employees, since you’re not covered by the FLSA.”
While it all depends on the deduction that is being taken (see here for a list of proper vs. improper deductions for exempt employees), know that an employer can lose the exempt status by making improper deductions. For example, since exempt employees are not paid on an hourly basis, the employer is bound to pay them for any week in which they do work. If a manager consistently makes partial day deductions for exempt employees, that’s an improper deduction.
“This seems pretty complicated; is it really worth the fuss?”
Yes, determining if improper deductions have been made can be complicated. Yes, it’s always worth it, for the following two reasons:
- You work hard for your salary, and you deserve it.
- Others might be in the same position but may not have the same knowledge of the law as you. Often, employers can make mistakes regarding deductions. More knowledge is always a good thing.
“It seems like your boss might have been making improper deductions; you should make a claim!”
Without more information, it’s difficult to tell whether or not the boss was making improper deductions. Jumping to conclusions can be almost as harmful as ignoring the issue!
Now, here’s some good advice:
If you think your employer is making improper deductions, pick up the phone and call a lawyer. TMH Law specializes in personal claims, and is passionate about seeing justice served. Combine that with a great reputation won by years of experience in fighting for others, and your worries are over!
Related Tags: Improper Deductions | Fair Labor Standards Act