The Mailbag.

AuthorDelogu, Nancy

Must we pay exempt employees for the full week if our office is closed for two of those days?

Q What are the conditions under which you are not required to pay an exempt employee for a day? If our company is closed for a couple days, can we pay employees three out of the five normal workdays for which they will actually be at work?--Michael, California

A The salary pay provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act requires you to pay exempt employees their full wages for each day that they perform any work. Essentially, these employees are expected to work as few or as many hours as are necessary to get the job done.

Exempt employees generally must receive their full salary for any week in which they perform work, without regard to the number of days or hours worked. You can dock exempt workers' wages if they take one or more full days off for personal reasons, but that's not the same as docking their pay because your office is closed for the holidays or for some other reason that is not within the employee's control.

Note: Check your state laws. In California, for example, minimum annual salary levels and other considerations also apply.

What to do if an employee on workers' comp stops paying for insurance?

Q We have an employee out on workers' compensation who stopped paying his portion of health insurance. Now he's suing us because he was denied workers' comp. I have not terminated him, but I would like to know if I can move his insurance to COBRA due to disability and nonpayment?--Kim, California

A Maybe. There are a few different laws to consider here. First, the terms of your health insurance plan control when coverage is lost. It is common for plans to say that employees who are out of work (for whatever reason) and not working a minimum number of hours will no longer be eligible for coverage. If that is the case and you do terminate his insurance coverage, then he may be eligible to continue the insurance through COBRA.

However, also bear in mind...

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