What Are the Rules for Paying Salary?

by Grace Ferguson ; Updated September 26, 2017
What Are the Rules for Paying Salary?

Employers are responsible for paying their employees for the work they perform; this includes salaried employees. Salaried employees are paid differently from hourly employees. The employer must keep certain conditions in mind when paying a salaried employee.

Regular Salary

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Hourly employees are paid based on the amount of hours worked and salaried employees are paid a set wage. Most salaried employees are managers, supervisors and employees who are in professional positions; as a result, the salary employee will often earn more than the hourly employee.

Salaried employees typically do not receive overtime pay. But a salaried employee can receive overtime pay if an agreement between him and the employer has been established; this rarely occurs. An employer is under no legal obligation to pay overtime to salaried employees.

Sick, Personal and Vacation Days

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Most companies allot a certain number of sick, personal and vacation days to all employees who have been employed with the company for a specific period of time. The amount of days granted depends on the company; however, most have a 90-day probationary period. A salaried employee will receive his full pay each pay date if he takes sick, personal and vacation days. However, if he uses all his paid days off and still takes more, the employer can deduct the excess days' pay from his check.

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Partial Days

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A salaried employee must be paid for a full day's work even if he spends only part of the day at work. For example, if she came into the office at 8 a.m. but left at noon due to personal reasons, even if she has no personal time available, she must still be paid for the entire day.

New Hire

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As a new hire, a salaried employee's paycheck can be docked if he is hired after the payroll cycle has begun. For example, if the pay cycle begins on Tuesday, and he was hired on the upcoming Friday, the employer can dock his pay for three days (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), paying him only for Friday through to the end of the pay cycle.


Woman writing a check

As a terminated employee, a salaried employee's pay can be docked if she terminated before the current pay cycle has ended. For example, if her last day was on Tuesday and the pay cycle ends on Friday, she can be paid from the start of the pay cycle through Tuesday, losing three days' pay (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday).

About the Author

Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.

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