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Reductions in Salary of Exempt Employees


To outline the conditions under which an exempt (salaried) employee may have salary reduced pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 

Applies to: 

All exempt employees. 

Juniper Gardens
Policy Statement: 

The FLSA requires that exempt (salaried) employees must be compensated on a “salary basis." The salary of an exempt employee cannot be reduced because of variations in the quality or quantity of work performed. The exempt employee must be paid a full salary for any week in which the employee performs any work. No salary is to be paid in any workweek when no work is performed or paid leave reported.

Reductions in the Salary of an Exempt Employee are Limited to the Following Situations:

  1. Absences from work for one or more full days for personal reasons, other than sickness or disability (i.e. when employees have no paid leave to cover the time off, and the reason for the absence is for personal reasons, no sickness or disability, the reduction must be in full-day increments and is referred to as Leave Without Pay (LWOP));
  2. Absences from work for one or more full days due to sickness or disability if deductions are made under the sick leave plan which provides wage replacement (i.e. if an employee does not have enough sick leave to cover a full day’s absence, the employer cannot deduct for a half-day of leave without pay);
  3. To off set any amounts received as payment for jury fees, witness fees, or military pay;
  4. Penalties imposed in good faith for violating safety rules of “major significance”;
  5. Unpaid disciplinary suspension of one or more full days imposed in good faith for violations of workplace conduct rules;
  6. Proportionate part of an employee’s full salary may be paid for time actually worked in the first and last weeks of employment;
  7. Unpaid leave taken pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act (may be taken in less than half or full-day increments); or
  8. Deductions in the salary due to a budgetary required furlough.
  9. Employee elects to voluntarily request a permanent FTE reduction to the employee's appointment with the supervising unit's approval. 

None of these exceptions affect the requirement that employees use sick leave, shared leave, vacation leave or holiday compensatory time in half or full-day increments.

If an exempt employee believes that their salary was reduced improperly, that employee should contact the Department of Human Resource Management at hrdept@ku.edu or 864-4946. 

For any deductions that are found to be improper, action will be taken to ensure such deductions do not occur again.


Human Resource Management 
103 Carruth-O’Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Director, Human Resource Management
Approved on: 
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Effective on: 
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Exempt, Salaried, Reduced salary, Leave, Deductions, Unpaid leave, Leave without pay, FLSA
Change History: 

03/08/2017: Updated Date Last Reviewed field. 

07/11/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.

10/21/2015: Updated name from HR to HRM; clarifies leave and FTE reduction provisions. 

01/21/2015: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).

Personnel: Faculty/Academic Staff Categories: 
Personnel: Staff Categories: 

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