What is a Salary?

Fair Labor Standards Act

Overtime pay and minimum wages are due to most employees unless they are paid a salary and have job duties that are considered exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Most employees and unfortunately, many employers, cannot explain the definition of a salary. Below, we will attempt to explain the characteristics of a salary so that you will be able to recognize, for yourself, whether or not your salary is being paid properly.

Generally, an employee will be considered to receive a salary if he or she regularly receives a predetermined amount (at least $455 per week) representing all or part of the employee’s compensation and such predetermined amount cannot be subject to reduction for variations in the quality or quantity of the work performed. See 29 C.F.R. 541.602. Your salary can be reduced in certain circumstances for full day absences, but you must be paid a full salary if you are ready and willing to work each day of the workweek.

Many times, employers fail to pay their employers on a salary basis by making partial day deductions.  For example, if you arrive to work in the morning and then need to leave the office because you become ill or need to deal with a family emergency, your employer must pay you for the entire day because your salary cannot be reduced because of the quantity of the work performed.  If your employer has a policy to deduct for partial day absences, then you are actually being treated as an hourly employee and are entitled to overtime pay and minimum wages.

If you have questions about your employment, contact an experienced employment lawyer at Osman & Smay LLP today.