Complete Labor Law Poster for $24.95
from www.LaborLawCenter.com, includes
State, Federal, & OSHA posting requirements

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Wages are being deducted, is it legal? Alabama

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Wages are being deducted, is it legal? Alabama

    My wife is a nurse and works at a doctor's office in Alabama. On Friday she had a wage garnishment on her paycheck. She was told that it was because the doctor thought they (the three nurses that work there) weren't filing properly and he had to hire someone to just do filing, so they were going to be garnished pay to pay the new clerks salary. Of course this is morally wrong but is it illegal? She didn't give approval for the garnishment nor did the doctor get a court order to do so.

  • #2
    This is not technically a garnishment; it is a wage reduction. A garnishment is ordered by the court.

    A wage reduction is not inherently illegal, and her permission is not required. As long as she is not earning less than the higher of state or Federal minimum wage (I believe in AL they are the same) and is being paid overtime when due, this is legal on a go-forward basis. It might even, in AL, be legal retroactively, since AL's reputation is along the lines of "not even as good as Federal". I don't believe a retroactive pay cut is illegal under Federal law, is it DAW?
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      I am missing something here. A creditor garnishment is a court action that your wife should have been a party to. She should have been notified prior to the court action so she could participate. If this failed to happen, she needs to talk to a local attorney, who will need to talk to the court. There is nothing anyone on this website can do that will remove the need for your wife to talk to a local attorney on this point.

      Past that, assuming that the court action was done correctly, under federal law only (FLSA), only those wages in excess of MW or OT would be subject to creditor garnishment. Your state is not my state and I have no idea what rules (if any) AL has in this area.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

      Comment


      • #4
        DAW - I think the poster is actually referring to a wage reduction rather than a garnishment.
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          wage garnishment

          It is a wage garnishment...It is written on her last paycheck... And yes it was retroactive... No courts involved and no prior notice was given...She is being paid at the same rate, according to her check so it is not a reduction in wages...Right?

          Comment


          • #6
            Okay, let's get at this another way.

            Did a court order this "garnishment"?

            It takes more to be a garnishment than just money taken out of your paychecks. There are plenty of deductions, legal and illegal, that are not garnishments.
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              garnishment

              The check says garnishment..
              No courts involved no notification give..Doesn't sound legal but Im just an engineer.

              Comment


              • #8
                I know this is alabama, no labor laws, but I have ran companies before and it was my understanding that there wer only 3 ways you could deduct an employees pay. 1st..a standard deduction such as fed taxes, state taxes, local taxes ,etc..
                2nd...a court order for a garnishment, or 3rd...if the employee signs a written statement giving permission for the deduction.

                To me what he is doing is stealing...so that he can increase his staff...
                I know that she cant do anything about this situation while she is still employed there. he would just fire her... I also know that all three nurses are looking for another job now. Once my wife finds one I think that the doctor (thief) should pay just like any other thief and came here to see if anyone had suggestions about what to do.
                Thanks

                Comment


                • #9
                  People can use any word they want to mean anything they want, but the word "garnishment" under law is a type of court order defined by the federal CCPA law.

                  So, legally there is no "garnishment", just the employer doing a wage reduction and putting the word "garnishment on pay stub. Legally saying something does not make it true.

                  AL is not my state and I do not know AL law. However AL is subject to federal law, which I do know. I will cite those rules. This is a "for the benefit of the employer" type of deduction. If the federal rules are being violated, then recourse can be obtained with a federal DOL wage claim.
                  http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs16.pdf

                  Past that:
                  - This is a bad employer. The best cure to a bad employer is to find a good employer. If the employee does nothing else, start looking for another job now. Do not wait for everything else to be resolved.
                  - This is a stupid employer. The employer can legally reduce wages on a go forward basis as long as MW/OT rules are followed. Using the wage reduction method opens up doors smarter employers would have left closed. If AL has laws on deductions different then the federal rules, and I really have no idea on that, then using this method unnecessarily complicates matters. If the AL deduction rules (assuming AL has any deduction rules) have been violated, file a wage claim with state DOL.
                  - The only deduction rules that affect all 50 states are the federal DOL rules that I cited. Past that, state can and sometimes do have their own rules. The federal rules do not agree with the "rules" that the OP cited.
                  "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                  Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You're right...Call it what you will it is stealing to me. This is money taken out after taxes so it is not a wage reduction no matter how you look at it.

                    She is looking for another job.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DAW View Post
                      AL is not my state and I do not know AL law. However AL is subject to federal law, which I do know. I will cite those rules. This is a "for the benefit of the employer" type of deduction. If the federal rules are being violated, then recourse can be obtained with a federal DOL wage claim.
                      http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs16.pdf
                      Al. has no law on paycheck deductions (except employers may not require employees
                      to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment).
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=DAW;1164196]
                        Past that:
                        - This is a stupid employer. The employer can legally reduce wages on a go forward basis as long as MW/OT rules are followed. Using the wage reduction method opens up doors smarter employers would have left closed. If AL has laws on deductions different then the federal rules, and I really have no idea on that, then using this method unnecessarily complicates matters. If the AL deduction rules (assuming AL has any deduction rules) have been violated, file a wage claim with state DOL.
                        [QUOTE]

                        Also a wage garnishment does not benefit the doctor as much as a lower of hourly rates would. Since this is an after tax deduction, the doctor is paying his portion of taxes on the higher wages, then is paying them again when paying the file clerk. He would have gotten more bang for the buck by lower wages.

                        Comment

                        The LaborLawTalk.com forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on LaborLawTalk.com are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of LaborLawTalk.com. LaborLawTalk.com does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.
                        Working...
                        X