Delaware Salaried Employees Laws

January 31st 2024

Salaried employees are a specific subset of the workforce who obtain fixed compensation at regular intervals, such as weekly or more frequently. 

This article delves into the legislative structure in Delaware that defines the rights and duties of salaried employees and their employers. It covers facets like payment procedures, breaks and leave entitlements, and the classification of employees as exempt or non-exempt.

This article covers:

Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in Delaware

Delaware employers are obligated to adhere to state labor regulations, ensuring that they remunerate their employees at least once a month on specified pay dates. These payments must transpire within seven days following the conclusion of the pay period during which the wages were accrued.

Furthermore, if the designated payday coincides with a non-working day, the employer must compensate their employees on the final workday preceding the payday.

Maintaining records of payroll periods and authorized overtime hours (when applicable based on company policies) can be meaningful. While not mandatory, these records provide salaried employees with valuable information regarding their time off and compensation.

Salaried Employees Eligibility for Overtime for Delaware

Having a salaried position does not inherently mean being exempt from receiving overtime pay. To qualify for exemption, specific requirements concerning job duties and a minimum weekly salary must usually be met.

Further, job titles alone do not determine exempt status. Rather, an individual’s eligibility for an exemption depends on the alignment of their job responsibilities and salary with the criteria outlined in the U.S. Department of Labor‘s regulations.

Pay for Working Overtime for Delaware Salaried Employees

For salaried employees to calculate their overtime rate, their regular hourly rate must first be identified. The regular rate of pay is calculated by dividing the salary by the hours it covers. 

If the standard work hours are less than 40, add the regular rate for each hour up to 40, then pay one and a half times the rate for any hours exceeding 40. 

If the regular hours are 40, pay one and a half times the rate for hours beyond 40.

Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for Delaware Salaried Employees

In Delaware, the rules for overtime exceptions and exemptions align with those of other states under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Employees who make a minimum of $684 weekly or $35,568 annually are exempt from overtime pay, whereas all other employees earning below this threshold are qualified to receive overtime compensation.

Learn more in detail about Delaware Overtime Laws.

Violation of Salaried Employees Wages Payment in Delaware

The Delaware Code (Wage Payment and Collection) imposes diverse forms of consequences on employers in Delaware for failing to transmit withheld funds from an employee’s wages to the appropriate state or federal agency within seven days of the relevant pay period.

This could involve the employer needing to reimburse or settle with the employee and achieve adherence to all applicable labor statutes, encompassing regulations related to income tax withholding, unemployment insurance, wage mandates, and workers’ compensation, within 30 days of a final decision.

Furthermore, the employer may incur a civil fine ranging from $2,000 to $20,000 for each violation. If the employer unlawfully terminates or discriminates against an individual due to their complaint, disclosure of information to the Department of Labor, initiation of an investigation, or participation in a hearing, the employer may face a civil penalty ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 for each violation.

Maintaining precise timesheet templates or monitoring payroll hours can be beneficial in instances of legal breaches, ensuring accurate documentation of dates. Alternatively, timesheet software can also be a valuable resource.

Male and Female Salaried Employees in Delaware

Delaware law stipulates that no worker can receive compensation at a rate lower than what an employee of the opposite gender is paid for performing equivalent work in the same workplace. This work must involve equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and be carried out under comparable working conditions.

There are exceptions for cases of pay discrepancies. These include the favoring of employees based on a seniority system, a merit-based system, a system that gauges earnings based on production quantity or quality, and any other factor besides gender.

Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Delaware

Salaried employees in Delaware encounter several types of leave arrangements governed by both state and federal laws. Paid sick leave is at the employer’s discretion, often guided by their policies or obligations under other regulations like the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Employers are not mandated to compensate employees for jury duty leave, yet penalizing them for taking this time off is prohibited. Payments received for jury duty service cannot be considered as regular wages. While paid leave for volunteer emergency responders isn’t compulsory, employers are barred from penalizing employees involved in emergency situations declared by the Governor or resulting injuries. Organ and bone donation leave ensures that state employees, educators, and school staff can take up to 30 days off for organ donation and 7 days for bone marrow donation with pay, safeguarding their job security and financial well-being. For military service, Delaware employers must grant leave for an employee’s entire tour plus an additional 90 days under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), a federal law adhered to by all US states, guaranteeing a smooth return to work following military commitments.

It’s important to mention that salaried employees receive a consistent salary regardless of their working hours, freeing them from the need to monitor hours and enabling them to concentrate on their tasks within reasonable deadlines. Nevertheless, maintaining records, timesheets, and reports of hours can be beneficial in situations such as unexpected absences, vacations, holidays, and sick days.

Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Delaware

As per guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Labor, employers must provide a 30-minute meal break for every 7.5 hours of daily work. This break is expected to be taken after the initial 2 hours of work and before the last 2 hours. Furthermore, minors working as young employees can take a 30-minute break for every 5 hours worked.

Exceptions to break laws in Delaware may apply under specific circumstances:

  • When only one employee occupies the job position.
  • For employees engaged in emergency work.
  • When the break would jeopardize public safety.

Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salary in Delaware

Employers are prohibited (under Del. Code tit. 19 § 1107) from withholding or redirecting any part of an employee’s wages unless one of the following conditions is met:

  1. The employer is mandated or authorized by state or federal law to do so.
  2. The deductions are for medical, surgical, or hospital care or services, without benefiting the employer financially, and these deductions are transparently and promptly documented in the employer’s records.
  3. The employer possesses written consent from the employee for deductions that serve a legal purpose benefiting the employee. However, the Department has the authority to forbid such withholdings or diversions for this purpose if it deems it necessary in the public interest. If the Department’s decision appears arbitrary or unjustified, any affected party has the right to initiate legal action in the Superior Court to challenge such regulation. In this legal action, the Department is not liable for any costs or fees.

Exempt employees typically should receive their complete salary for any week worked, irrespective of the hours or days worked, barring a few exceptions. However, there might be circumstances where deductions from pay are permissible for exempt employees:

  • When they are absent for personal reasons not linked to illness or disability.
  • When their absence is due to illness or disability, and the deduction is part of an illness-related compensation plan.
  • When they receive compensation for jury duty or military service.
  • When deductions are imposed as penalties for substantial safety rule breaches.
  • When they face unpaid suspensions for violating workplace regulations.

Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in Delaware

In Delaware, the employment-at-will principle is followed, allowing employees without a written contract to be dismissed without prior notice or reason. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to note that termination cannot be legally warranted if it involves discrimination or retaliation against an employee.

As per the Delaware Department of Labor, employers are obligated to provide employees with their final wages on the upcoming payday, regardless of the grounds for termination.

Learn more about Delaware 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.