In my company, employees should work from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, 5 days a week. My company buys employees insurance, provides stock options to employees and pay wage monthly and had never been delayed.

If an employee makes a mistake, HR will deduct/take away part of their salary, for example, being late one time will make the employee lose $100 in salary, only for that month.

Is there a term or common phrase to refer to this kind of rule?

  • Could this be docking pay? Or does that apply only to hourly wages and not lump sums of money?
    – Kman3
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 23:41

1 Answer 1


At least informally, it's common to hear dock their (pay / salary / wages).

From dock:

1 a : to subject to a deduction
// dock someone's wages

So, you could hear something like the following:

"That was a big mistake. I'm going to have to dock your pay."

It can refer to either a permanent reduction in salary, or to a one-time decrease, particularly in terms of people who are paid by the hour.

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