This question came in from one of my HR HelpLine clients.
Question: I have a salaried exempt employee who has lost time due to illness. Are deductions from pay allowed for absences due to sickness or disability?
Advice: Yes. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) employers may deduct from pay for full-day absences due to sickness or disability, but only “in accordance with a bona fide plan, policy or practice of providing compensation for loss of salary occasioned by such sickness or disability.” The same rule applies “if salary replacement benefits are provided under a state disability insurance law or under a state workers’ compensation law.” If there is no such plan or practice, employers cannot deduct for sickness absences. No pay is required for any workweek in which the employee performs no work. Employers also may deduct for full-day sick or disability-related absences for employees who are not yet eligible for the salary replacement plan or practice or who have exhausted their available leave.
Other posts you may want to read:
- Interns: Employers Obligation T0 Pay
- Off the Clock: Must I Pay?
- Employee Classifications: When Must you Pay Overtime?