Can an employer take money out of your pay?

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In a commission situation, can an employer take money out of an employees paycheck and give it to a charity of the employers choosing if the employee forgets to send out a daily email requested by the employer? (The amount deducted is $10 for the first three offenses, going up to $20 for the next three offences, then $30 after that. The email is a "thank you for visiting our store" email to a customer the employee met that day with a promotional video link attached.)

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Annette Newman Esq.

Answered 1 year ago

Florida does not have any laws regarding what deductions may or may not be taken from an employees paycheck or whether an employee must provide written consent prior to any deduction. The lack of a law prohibiting deductions likely means an employer can withhold or deduct wages from an employees pay check for:

•cash shortages

•breakage, damage, or loss of the employer’s property

•dishonored or returned checks

•required uniforms

•required tools

•other items necessary for employment (including written employer policies like you described).

In accordance with federal law, an employer may not make deductions for any of the above-listed items if it would cause the employee to earn less than federal minimum wage for the period in which the deduction was made.

Visit the Department of Labor (DOL) website for more information about what deductions employers can take from an employee's paycheck. I'm providing a link for your convenience here:

http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs16.htm#.UIFzImdXNxA

You should speak to a local employment law attorney for specific legal advice after he/she has reviewed all the specific facts in your case.