Can an employer reduce the hourly wage of an employee or suspend that employee without pay as discipline for violation of its policies?

Steve Duggan replies:

In responding to this question, I am assuming that the employee is not an exempt employee since he or she is paid by the hour. If that is so, an employee can be suspended without pay for any reasonable amount of time as discipline. Likewise, the hourly pay of an employee can also be reduced, so long as he or she is paid at least the minimum wage under state or federal law (whichever is greater). There are different rules which can be quite complex for exempt employees. An employer would be well-advised to get advice from an employment law professional before docking or reducing the pay of an exempt employee.

Posted 10-09-2018

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Steve Duggan graduated from the Law School at the University of Notre Dame while on active duty in the Air Force. He has extensive experience representing management litigating cases of wrongful termination, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment. Steve also has experience in all phases of administrative litigation of unfair labor practice charges, and class and individual complaints of employment discrimination. He has been an instructor of seminars for supervisors and managers on labor management relations and other personnel issues, and for lawyers in basic and advanced trial advocacy courses. Steve came on board with Fair Measures in 1998.