Exempt Employees: What You Can and Cannot Do

An explanatory chart for church leaders.

The Employer MAYButThe Employer CANNOT

Set general work hoursDock the exempt employee’s pay because he or she failed to work “40 hours”
Permit or deny an employee’s request to take a partial day offDock the employee’s pay for taking a partial day off
Suspend an employee for disciplinary reasonsDock the employee’s pay unless the employee was suspended for an entire week or the employee was disciplined for a violation of major safety regulations
Require that an employee schedule appointments outside of work hours orRequire that an exempt employee “put in” his or her 40 hours
Permit the employee to schedule an outside appointment during working hoursClassify a nonexempt employee as an exempt in order to avoid paying overtime
Require that an exempt employee “get his or her job done”Require that an exempt employee “make up” time he or she missed.
Promote a nonexempt employee to an exempt position by assigning additional responsibilities that require independent discretion

This article first appeared in Church Finance Today, November 2008.

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