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Mandatory licensing fee and holding a check Florida

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  • Mandatory licensing fee and holding a check Florida

    The state mandates that specific employees at my company have a specific license. The company pays for half of the fee and the employee is responsible for the remainder. After 90 days, the company reimburses the amount that the employee paid. Some employees have asked to have the fee deducted from their first paycheck. Can I make the deduction if an employee asks for it? Even if it takes them below minimum wage?

    Also, when hired we distribute employee manuals. These manuals are not very cheap... when an employee quits or is terminated, can we require them to return the manual or pay a fee before we give them the final paycheck?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    The problem is this. Federal law (FLSA) very specifically prohibits most deductions from interfering with minimum wage. The employee "agreeing" with the deduction is not an issue under federal law. It would be the same as the employee "agreeing" to not be paid minimum wage, meaning not allowed under law.

    Past that, FL could have their own laws (which I do not know).
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      The only thing Fl. says is public employers may make wage deductions authorized by employees of state and local government.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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      • #4
        Ok thanks! Any thoughts on the employee handbook?

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        • #5
          Honestly, I'd find a way to print the manuals for cheaper or better yet, hase it available in electronic form such as on your intranet.

          While Florida has very few wage and hour laws and Federal does not require the final paycheck be sent at any particular time, eventually you are going to have to pay the employee anyway. You can not hold the check indefinitely if they do not return the manual. you might have some luck in having the employee come in to pick up their final check and asking them to bring the manual with them. If the employee has lost it, destroyed it, or just refuses to return it, you still do have to pay them.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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          • #6
            Medical Benefits Deductions

            Thanks for all of your help. One more question, if pay cannot go below the minimum wage with deductions; does that mean that legally I cannot offer my employees medical benefits (deducted from payroll) if they are minimum wage employees? Or is there some kind of exception for benefits?

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            • #7
              Again, for federal rules only, federal law (FLSA) draws a distinction between benefits that are "for the benefit of the employee" (such as medical coverage) and "for the benefit of the employer" (almost everything else). Employers have historically tried to argue that pretty much everything is "for the benefit of the employee", but courts and DOL have not agreed. That line is drawn pretty tightly, but medical premium is indeed for the "benefit of the employee".

              "For the benefit of the employee" only types of deductions can violate federal minimum wage law.

              http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs16.pdf

              And I still am punting on FL specific rules.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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              • #8
                No, you can still offer benefits.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                • #9
                  You can always offer medical benefits. The law may limit how much you can demand the employee to pay if it would take them below minimum wage, but it does not limit your ability to offer employer-paid benefits. And yes, I have worked for companies that paid 100% of the insurance premium.
                  The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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