Employment Law Articles
What Are Disallowable Deductions Under Minimum Wage Law?
By Scott Adams | Employment Law Attorney
Published on February 7, 2016
Pursuant to the Florida Minimum Wage Act, the Fair Labor Standard Act, and the Florida Constitution, practically all employees in Florida are entitled to minimum wage for each hour worked. Employers run afoul of the forgoing laws by making improper deductions from employees’ wages that result in the employees receiving less than minimum wage for each hour worked.
Many employees contact the Employment Lawyers at LaBar & Adams, P.A. explaining that their employer is deducting money from their paychecks for cash register shortages, for mathematical errors committed by the employee, or for the employer’s customers leaving without paying their check. Such deductions are improper. Furthermore, where those deductions reduce below minimum wage the amount of money the employee receives in compensation then minimum wage laws have been violated.
Many employers deduct the cost of uniforms and maintaining clean uniforms from an employee’s wages. This is potentially unlawful. Furthermore, the cost to an employee of laundering a mandated uniform may not cut into minimum wage or overtime pay. If an improper deduction for the cost of uniforms or maintaining clean uniforms has resulted in an employee’s wages to fall below minimum wage, then minimum wage laws have been violated.
Employers may deduct from an employee’s wages the reasonable cost to the employer of meals regular furnished to employees. The reasonable cost charged to the employee cannot include any profit to the employer. The employer must maintain adequate records to demonstrate the actual cost of the meals. Without adequate records, the cost of the meals cannot be deducted from the employee’s wages. If improper meal deductions have occurred which resulted in an employee’s wages to fall below minimum wage, then minimum wage laws have been violated.
Employers may deduct fuel, electricity, water, and gas if it is furnished primarily for the employee’s benefit. As with meals, the employer must adequately document the reasonable cost of these items. The cost charged to the employee cannot include a profit to the employer. If there are inadequate records or the employer makes a profit, then the deduction is improper. If improper deductions have occurred for deduct fuel, electricity, water, or gas which resulted in an employee’s wages to fall below minimum wage, then minimum wage laws have been violated.
Minimum wage laws are meant to protect the most vulnerable of our community. To be sure you are receiving the proper wages you are entitled too and are not having your rights violated you should contact an overtime pay and minimum wage lawyer at LaBar & Adams, P.A. You can reach us by phone at 407-835-8968. You can also fill out the online form provided at the top of this page and we will contact you shortly.
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