Tampa, FL asked in Employment Law for Florida

Q: To my understanding an employer cannot deduct money from my paycheck for a mistake I made. Is this true.

I made a mistake a used material that I thought was scrap. Boss saw it Nad sid it wasn't scrap. So he is deducting $500 from my paycheck. I told him that it illegal and he told me if I didn't and agree to it then I wax getting fired just because I told him it's illegal

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2 Lawyer Answers
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Answered
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: This is a teaching opportunity:

1. I hope you learned that you were lucky when your boss decided to deduct the $500 instead of just terminating you. 2. And I hope you realize you should have agreed to pay for the expensive material you ruined because now you have no job.

3. Suggestion: Tell your boss you are sorry, and that you will pay for the material you ruined and ask for your job back.

Lesson learned? Here is is again: Florida is an “at will” state, which means private employers are free to hire, promote, demote, suspend, reinstate, fire and rehire employees for any reason at any time, i.e., “at will.” The only thing employers cannot do is make any of these adverse employment decisions based upon the employee’s race, gender, age, handicap, disability, religion, marital status or national origin.

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Tampa, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, certain deductions taken for the benefit of the employer cannot be taken from non-exempt employees' payroll if the deductions reduce the hourly pay below minimum wage. For exempt employees, certain deductions based upon quality or quantity of work performed could jeopardize the employee's exempt status. Objecting to improper deductions could constitute protected activity under the FLSA's anti-retaliation provision. More facts are needed to evaluate this specific scenario.

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