EMPLOYMENT LAW LEGISLATIVE ALERT
UNPAID SUSPENSIONS FOR CERTAIN EXEMPT EMPLOYEES ON THE TABLE IN SPRINGFIELD
The Illinois legislature is considering a bill that would have far reaching consequences on the minimum wage laws and how certain “exempt” employees are paid. In Illinois, employers are generally prohibited from docking or reducing the pay of any “exempt” employee for absences of less than a day. “Exempt” employees are those earning above a certain salary level (currently $455/week or $23,660) and who qualify for certain exemptions from the overtime laws (i.e. executives, administrative professionals, learned professionals, creative professionals, certain computer employees).
The bill before the Illinois legislature, known as HB 4504, amends the minimum wage law and would allow employers to make deductions from the pay of an otherwise “exempt” employee for a suspension lasting or more full days imposed in good faith for infractions of workplace conduct rules.
Under the proposed bill, there are certain requirements an employer must meet. First and foremost, the suspension must be pursuant to a written policy applicable to all employees. Employers who apply such a policy sparingly or by showing favoritism to certain employees only are likely to run afoul of this requirement. Second, the employer must have the workplace conduct rules clearly spelled out for all employees. Keeping an unpublished list of unacceptable workplace conduct that is only used in a termination proceeding will not qualify. Employers should carefully review their handbooks and policy manuals to update and make certain the core workplace conduct rules are clearly set out for all employees. Finally, if such a suspension is imposed, the employer may make a deduction from the employee’s salary equivalent to the hourly or daily equivalent or the employee’s salary or other amount proportional to the time actually missed by the employee.
The legislation, in its current form, would apply to certain employees of a governmental body, or those in a bona-fide executive, administrative or professional capacity.
As your legislative watchdog, Boznos Law will keep an eye out for you on the ever changing labor and employment law landscape. Should this bill come to pass into law, we will provide further guidance to both employers and employees as how to best be prepared for the impact it will have on the employment relationship.
With over 30 years’ experience in advising employers and employees on workplace issues, such as EEOC charges, let Boznos Law work with you to ensure you are ready to meet the challenges posed by the changes to the minimum wage laws. Call Bill Boznos today at (630) 375-1958 or contact us at www.boznoslawoffice.com/contact-us through our website at www.boznoslawoffice.com