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Paycheck deduction for sever mistake Florida

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  • Paycheck deduction for sever mistake Florida

    I am a server in a Florida restaurant. My employer has deducted over $300 from my paycheck without my authorization. The most recent incident involved me spilling wine on a customer. It was an accident and my employer made arrangements to pay for the clothing that was damaged. After the check was sent, I was told that the money would be coming out of my check. I did not sign anything allowing them to do this and they did it anyway.

    This has happened to other employees as well but nobody wants to do anything in fear they may lose their job.

    I have been informed that my employer is also taking out 20 minutes worth of pay per shift automatically for breaks, whether you take one or not.

    Is any of this illegal/legal?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by TampaServer; 09-15-2006, 06:23 AM.

  • #2
    Regarding the deduction, unfortunately, Florida has very weak wage payment laws and there is no law prohibiting the employer from deducting from your paycheck without your authorization. There may be a "public policy" violation though, but you would have to bring a civil suit for that; small claims court would probably work.

    You must be paid for all time you work. If you don't take a 20-minute break (which is the minimum time required under federal law for a break to be unpaid), then you must be paid for the time. Again, in Florida, you'll either have to file a civil suit for payment, or file a claim with the federal Dept. of Labor.
    Last edited by Pattymd; 09-15-2006, 07:16 AM.
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    • #3
      Thank you for your response!
      I was afraid that it wouldn’t be easy.
      If I pursue civil action, can they terminate my employment?

      Also, I was reading on the DOL website about tipped employees and got the impression that employers were required to pay out all tips no matter what.
      Is this not the case here in Florida?
      Last edited by TampaServer; 09-19-2006, 04:53 PM.

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      • #4
        Can they? Sure. Could you then add "wrongful termination" to your case? Yes.

        Of course it is, although tip pooling is allowed. You didn't mention anything about a problem with tips in your original post. Care to provide details?
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        • #5
          sorry... here are the details:
          We are required to turn in all of our cash tips every night and they produce a check with all of our cash tips, credit tips, and our wages (4.50 per hr in my case) minus all typical deductions for taxes etc.

          So technically they deducted from my tips ($200) over a period of 2 weeks. I typically only work 25+/- hrs a week, so it is a pretty significant deduction.

          They have deducted an entire paycheck of a coworker in the past as well.

          Thanks again!
          Last edited by TampaServer; 09-19-2006, 04:53 PM.

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          • #6
            OK, now I get it. Yes, that is a violation of the FLSA.

            The only tips that should be going through the hands of the company are credit card tips; the employer is allowed to deduct from those an amount equal to the service fee percentage they have to pay the credit card processor, as long as you are notified that they will be doing that ahead of time. For example, if the tip on the credit card is $10 and the credit card processor charges a 2% fee for processing the charge, the employer can pay you only $9.80 of the $10.00 tip charged.

            You might find this helpful.
            http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/whd/whdfs15.htm
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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            • #7
              Thanks again!

              You have been very helpful!

              Who do I report this to?

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              • #8
                Federal Department of Labor.

                This link provides contact information:
                http://www.dol.gov/esa/contacts/whd/...a2.htm#Florida

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                • #9
                  You're welcome. This was an easy one.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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