Court approves pay docking practice

The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that an employee who worked on upgrading computer software and reconciling shipping and warehouse processes of her employer would be allowed to proceed with her claims that her duties were more “production” than administrative in nature, and therefore she should be entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labour Standards Act. However, the court rejected the employee’s claim that IKON Office Solutions Inc.’s practice of docking the pay of salaried employees entitled them to overtime pay, because their status as salaried employees was abolished after their pay was docked. Employers can deduct salary in whole day increments if exempt employees are absent for one or more full days for personal reasons. In a similar vein, full day deductions for absences due to sickness or disability for exempt employees are proper where the exempt employee has exhausted his or her leave allowance under the employer’s plan or practice.

Source: Wolfslayer v. IKON Office Solutions Inc., 2004 WL 2536833, No. 03-6709 (E.D. Pa. 2004). Howard Pianko, Epstein Becker & Green e-mail:

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