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Deductions from Bonus Florida

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  • Deductions from Bonus Florida

    If we want to implement a policy that the employee is required to pay for expenses for which we feel they are responsible i.e. cash drawer shortages or damage to property - if ordinarily it would be prohibited to deduct from their wages because it would bring them below minimum wage, would we be permitted to deduct it from a bonus (or withhold it altogether, depending on the amount) ? The Bonus is a 'delivery bonus' and is paid monthly - is the same amount to every employee (usually $50-$100 per month). We do not have a written bonus plan that guarantees the bonus in any way. Any thoughts on that?

  • #2
    I can give you the federal rules. What you describe might be legal under federal rules if those rules are followed:
    http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs16.pdf

    State law can also have something to see in this matter. Your state is not my state and I have no idea what rules (if any) your state has. FL has a reputation for having very little in the way of state laws, but that is a potentially dangerous assumption to make.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Well then I guess that begs the question (maybe this should have been my actual question : is the bonus I described considered "wages". Or if it is entirely discretionary, can I just choose not to give it to some employees (for the reasons explained)? And you're right - nothing in FL on this one! I'm going with Fed.

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      • #4
        The definition of "wages" is different for different purposes. If you're talking about determining discretionary vs nondiscretionary, that is only for calculation of overtime premiums under the FLSA. If the "bonus" is a quid pro quo, i.e., employee does X and Y, he gets Z, then that is nondiscretionary.

        John's quota for widgets in 60 widgets per day. John makes 75 widgets in each day in the workweek. The plan also requires that John has not been tardy, left early, or had any paid (or unpaid) time off during the week and John had none of those. That is nondiscretionary, because John met all the defined criteria, the criteria was directly related to the production of widgets and the time worked making those widgets, and the measurement of whether or not John met all the criteria is objective, not subjective.

        Relative to your "delivery bonus", what is the criteria you are considering?
        Last edited by Pattymd; 03-04-2009, 01:34 PM.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          Well, if it matters, the only 'criteria' for the delivery bonus is that you are an employee (it's based on the total deliveries for the company - not per individual). So if we wanted to take a deduction that might (possibly) normally be prohibited (i.e. for a cash drawer shortage and we don't have written authroization for the deduction or confession, etc.)... could we still deduct it from (or withhold) the bonus, so long as we still pay their regular wages? I don't particularly love the idea, but will feel more comfortable if i know the answer. THANKS MUCH!

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