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Your Questions (Jan. 2019)
January 23, 2019
Parsons Behle & Latimer Legal Briefings

Q. Are we able to deduct negative paid-time-off balances from a non-exempt employee's paycheck at any time during the year, or do we have to wait until the final paycheck? Is it possible to deduct the amount in one lump sum, or should we do it over a period of several paychecks?

A. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employer may reimburse itself for negative paid-time-off balances at any time to recoup what the Department of Labor considers a loan or advance of wages to an employee, even if such deduction cuts into the FLSA minimum wage or overtime requirements. You can make the deduction at any time as one lump sum or over a period of pay periods.

Q. We have an employee who is more than 60 years old who stated she is retiring this year, but she has not submitted a letter of resignation. We want to determine her plans. What is the best way to ask her about this?

A. Directly asking an employee about retirement plans may open the company to potential liability for an age discrimination claim. However, if you are specifically responding to statements she previously made, those risks are immediately reduced, provided the actions of the company following the inquiry continue to be lawful. Simply let her know you are confirming her previous statements and that you have not noticed a letter of resignation having been submitted yet.

To contact Jason Maui about these or other employment-related issues, call (208) 562-4898.  


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