Arkansas Salaried Employees Laws

January 29th 2024

Employees who receive a predetermined fixed amount of compensation at regular intervals, such as weekly or less frequently are salaried employees.

There are specific laws and regulations that govern the rights and responsibilities of salaried employees and their employers.

The purpose of this article is to offer an overview of the relevant laws and regulations concerning salaried employees in Arkansas. It will encompass various topics, including payment, break and leave entitlements, as well as the differentiation between exempt and non-exempt employees.

This article covers:

Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in Arkansas

State law mandates that employers must provide payment for labor at least semi-monthly or every two weeks. Employers can choose to pay more frequently, as long as all employees have access to a regular payment schedule.

Failure to adhere to state pay frequency laws may result in fines ranging from $50 to $500 for each violation.

Furthermore, state laws dictate that employers must pay employees using methods such as checks, direct deposit, or cash.

Salaried Employees Eligibility for Overtime for Arkansas

Receiving a salary does not automatically exempt an employee from receiving overtime pay; their primary duties must also meet the exemption criteria to be disqualified from overtime pay.

If you work in Arkansas, it’s essential to understand the exceptions to the overtime rule to determine your eligibility for overtime compensation.

To calculate the overtime rate for salaried employees, first, find the regular rate, which is the salary divided by the intended hours it covers.

If the regular hours are less than 40, pay the regular rate for each hour up to 40 and then pay time and a half for hours over 40. If the regular hours are 40, pay time and a half for hours over 40.

Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for Arkansas Salaried Employees

As stated above, overtime exceptions are not strictly related to salary requirements. 

Certain categories of workers are not automatically eligible for the standard overtime rates and need to negotiate these terms with their employer. The exempted personnel include:

  • Executive personnel
  • Administrative personnel
  • Learned professionals, such as artists and other professionals
  • Information technology personnel
  • Outside sales representatives
  • Highly compensated personnel

To qualify for exemption, these employees must earn at least $684 per week.

On the other hand, some employees are consistently entitled to receive overtime compensation according to the Fair Labor Standards Act, regardless of their earnings level. These include:

  • Blue-collar workers engaged in repetitive manual labor
  • Emergency service personnel, like firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and similar roles.

Learn more in detail about Arkansas Overtime Laws.

Time Tracking of Salaried Employees Hours in Arkansas

Salaried employees are paid a fixed salary, which eliminates the necessity for them to track working hours and allows them to concentrate on their responsibilities within reasonable timeframes. Nevertheless, maintaining records and timesheets of hours can be advantageous in scenarios such as unplanned absences, vacations, holidays, and sick days.

Furthermore, monitoring payroll and ensuring compliance with overtime hours (if relevant based on company policies) can be significant. While it’s not obligatory, these records offer valuable information to salaried employees regarding the tracking of time off and compensation.

You can delve into further insights on time tracking for both salaried and hourly employees in the United States.

Violation of Salaried Employees Wages Payment in Arkansas

If an employer fails to meet state and federal salary requirements, they will be held accountable for unpaid wages, as well as the attorney and court fees incurred by the employee during the process of bringing the case to the Arkansas Department of Labor or court.

The department’s director has the authority to thoroughly review each case, impose penalties on employers who violate wage obligations, and ensure proper compensation is provided.

Male and Female Salaried Employees in Arkansas

Federal and Arkansas state laws both prohibit employers from paying unequal salaries based solely on an employee’s sex, but employers can still determine salaries based on factors like seniority, experience, job duties, and performance.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for investigating and enforcing gender wage discrimination laws, and employers found guilty of such discrimination may face Class C Misdemeanor charges for each offense. The EEOC’s Memphis District Office handles cases in Arkansas, and there is an EEOC Field Office in Little Rock.

Even though federal discrimination laws take precedence over state laws, Arkansas still maintains its own anti-discrimination laws that protect employees. These laws prohibit discrimination based on sex, race, color, nationality, religion, medical conditions, disability, and genetic information. Federal laws offer the same protections and also include safeguards against discrimination based on citizenship status and age for individuals over 40.

Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Arkansas

Salaried employees in Arkansas have specific leave entitlements that they can avail of under various circumstances. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) mandates that qualified workers can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave each year for situations such as childbirth, taking care of a family member with a significant medical condition, or dealing with a personal health issue that affects job performance.

When summoned for jury duty, employees have the civic responsibility to serve, and employers must respect this right, ensuring that there are no adverse actions against employees for taking leave to fulfill their duty. Employers are not required to compensate employees for time off during jury service, and they cannot force the use of paid time off, like sick days or vacation days. Furthermore, employees in Arkansas have the right to take time off to vote on election day, without the need for compensation from employers.

Additionally, employers are obligated to grant unpaid leave to employees who are members of the military and are deployed for active duty, and upon their return, these employees have the right to reclaim their previous work conditions, including their prior rate of pay.

Lastly, employees can take up to 90 days of leave for organ or bone marrow donation, the payment status of which is determined by the employer. It’s important to note that employees covered by FMLA are not eligible for organ and bone marrow donation leave.

Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Arkansas

Arkansas employers are not required by law to provide breaks to employees, with the exception of minors under 16 working in the entertainment industry.

Nevertheless, if employers do decide to offer breaks, they must compensate employees for breaks shorter than 20 minutes. For meal breaks lasting over 20 minutes, compensation is not mandatory, and during unpaid meal breaks, employees must be fully relieved of their job duties.

Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salary in Arkansas

Arkansas labor laws permit employers to make deductions from employees’ minimum wage and overtime wages under certain circumstances.

These deductions are allowed if they are authorized by Arkansas rules or required by law, such as taxes that are forwarded to governmental agencies. Additionally, deductions can be made for court orders or for the benefit of employees, as long as they are authorized in writing by the employees and not prohibited.

Employers are prohibited from deducting amounts from employees’ minimum wage for items like spoilage, breakage, cash shortages, or penalties for lateness or misconduct.

Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in Arkansas

“At-will employment” in Arkansas allows either the employer or employee to terminate the employment without a specific reason. However, there are exceptions to this rule that protect employees from unjust termination.

These exceptions include discrimination based on various factors, violation of a written agreement, refusal to engage in illegal activities, absence due to jury duty, and whistleblowing activities.

Payment of final wages upon termination varies depending on the circumstances. If the termination is due to firing or layoff, the final paycheck must be given within 7 days. If the employee resigns due to a labor dispute, the final paycheck should be provided on the next scheduled payday. Failure to provide the final paycheck within the specified time may result in the employee receiving double the owed wages.

Learn more about Arkansas Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.