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  • Final Pay Florida

    I have a lot of questions, so bare with me. I have worked for my uncle's air conditioning company this summer until now and for the past 6 summers; I'm 20 years old now. This morning, he asked myself and another employee to sign a memorandum saying that we would fill out a certain checklist on every job, and if we didn't our pay could be reduced to a training wage. Also, if we didn't sell something he thinks should have been sold on a service call, we can also have our pay reduced to a training wage. I asked him how much a training wage was, and after some thought he decided minimum wage. I asked him how long that would last, and he said until we learned our lesson, or the difference in pay made up for the lost revenue. IE pay at 10$/hr reduced to 7.50$/hr for 80 hours to make up for a 200$ item not sold. I didn't want to sign something as opened ended as this so I kept asking questions about it, and eventually he told me that if I wanted to ask questions like that I could pack up my things and call a cab. See, I drive a company vehicle during the summer and during the school year, because he bought it when I was 16 and we had the agreement that I would work in the summers to pay for the truck until I had it paid off and the truck would be mine. About a year after we made that agreement, and I had given him around 6000$ for the truck, I got into a minor accident, and he took the truck from my possession saying that he didn't want to run the risk of being sued if I hurt someone. He let me begin driving it a gain about 8 months later, and I have driven it since then, about 2 years. I also live in his house in the summers to work, in Clearwater, because I go to college at FSU and would otherwise have no where to stay during the summer to work. When he told me to leave this morning, I asked about my things at his house and he said he would have them waiting outside for me, but I got in the truck and left the office and went back to his house to pick up my things. He called me and threatened to call the cops if I didn't come back to the office immediately but I went to his house anyways to pack up my things; I wasn't upset or angry. There has been a tension between us since last Friday when we got our paychecks and I had been shorted 5 hours of overtime because I misdiagnosed an A/C system a week earlier, and he said that he surely wasn't going to pay for our time out there.
    My questions are: Will I get my final paycheck at my normal wages? Can he deduct time or make other deductions from my final paycheck without my written consent? Do I have any rights to the truck or the money that I put towards it? Can he not count time that I worked when he issues a paycheck as a form of punishment for a mistake?

  • #2
    There is federal law (FLSA) and there is the possibility of state law. FL has a higher then federal minimum wage (today anyhow), but otherwise is generally considered to be a "just like federal" state for most purposes. I will include a pointer to the federal rules, but basically you must be paid minimum wage and must be paid overtime.
    http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs16.pdf
    http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs22.pdf
    http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs23.pdf

    Will I get my final paycheck at my normal wages?
    No idea. You legally must be paid at least minimum wage and overtime, but we have no idea of knowing what your employer will do.

    Can he deduct time or make other deductions from my final paycheck without my written consent?
    There is no consent requirement in federal law. States sometimes impose a consent requirements but to my knowledge, FL does not. The first factsheet I cited discusses the federal rules (consent is not one of the rules).

    Do I have any rights to the truck or the money that I put towards it?
    Hard to say. Not all law is labor law and this question is well outside the scope of labor law. I will say that this is a "talk to a local attorney" type of question.

    Can he not count time that I worked when he issues a paycheck as a form of punishment for a mistake?
    Under federal law, you must be paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked, period, no exceptions. Again, read the first factsheet that I cited.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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