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Legal Q & A – Exempt Employees

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IF OUR EMPLOYEES AGREE TO IT, CAN WE TREAT THEM AS “EXEMPT” EVEN IF THEY DON’T MEET ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT (FLSA)?
No. Some employees would rather be classified as “salaried” or “exempt” because this suggests a higher status than an “hourly” position. However, an employee’s choice of being “exempt” or “nonexempt” generally has nothing to do with whether the employee can rightfully be classified as “exempt” from overtime requirements under state and federal law.

WE HAVE AN EXEMPT EMPLOYEE WHO IS LATE TO EVERY MEETING. CAN WE SUSPEND HER WITHOUT PAY?
No. While deductions from the pay of exempt employees may be made for unpaid disciplinary suspensions of one or more full days that are imposed in good faith for
infractions of workplace conduct rules, the disciplinary deductions must involve serious misconduct (harassment, workplace violence, etc.), tardiness would not be considered serious misconduct. The employer must have a written policy applicable to all employees in order to make such disciplinary deductions.