Jury duty? Family leave? Sick leave? Find out what can be deducted, and what can’t!

If you’re an employer, you know that the subject of deductions is tricky at best. If you’re an employee, you may have never thought to look beyond what you were told in employee orientation regarding absences and deductions.

And if you think you’ve got it all figured out already and you can easily tell a proper deduction from an improper deduction, here’s a little quiz to test your knowledge on the subject.

True or False: Improper Deduction?

  • Employees cannot be absent from work for more than 1 full day for reasons other than disability or sickness. True!
    Unless the employee’s contract specifically allows for paid bereavement leave, etc., deductions can be made.
  • Deductions can be taken because of a two-day sick leave when the employer “does not have a bona fide sick leave plan, policy or practice of providing wage replacement benefits”. False!
    A salary deduction in absence of a bona fide sick leave cannot be deducted from an employee’s wages – even for two days of absence!
  • Employees can have deductions made as a penalty for significant safety violations. True!As long as the deductions are made “in good faith” and the safety violation was “of major significance”, according to the DOL.
  • Half-day disciplinary suspensions can be deducted from an employee’s pay. False!All half-day deductions are considered to be improper deductions if they are partial day deductions for exempt employees. However, employers can make deductions for a disciplinary suspension, as long as it is one or more full days.
  • A day’s pay or more can be deducted because the place of work was closed due to inclement weather. False!
    If an employer closes the place of work, they cannot take any pay deductions from their employees.
  • For the first and last weeks of an employee’s time, deductions can be made if the employee does not work a full week during either of those weeks. True!But this only applies to the first and last weeks of an employee’s stay at any particular
    job.
  • The employee should not have any deductions taken out for unpaid leave they take under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act. False!
    While the FMLA guarantees job security in event of an emergency, it does not guarantee paid leave during this time.
  • Up to 3 days’ pay can be deducted because an employee was serving jury duty. False!
    While some deductions can be made if the jury duty is paid, unpaid jury duty cannot be the cause of a deduction.