This is the smile of an employment attorney when a business owner decides that he does not need a human resource consultant to create standard discipline forms or streamline process and procedures.
Your exempt employee has came into work late a few times and you decide to write up a quick memo indicating that the company could dock her pay. You have just accepted a potential lawsuit.
Exempt employees' pay cannot be deducted because they took a longer lunch or came in late to work. Per the Fair Labor Standards Act, to classify an employee exempt, they have to meet conditions based on salary and job duties. Once you deduct from the exempt employee's pay, he will be classified as non-exempt.
As an employer, money will fly out of the window because you have just misclassified an employee and she will be eligible for overtime. It is possible that you will be responsible for back pay and moving forward.
If you invested in an HR consultant, she would have been able to manage and eliminate these costly mistakes. If you cannot afford full time HR, then contract with a consultant to come in and view your processes, procedures and standard discipline forms to ensure they are in compliance.