Navigating wage deductions can be challenging, especially since the limitations often vary from state to state. In Florida, the regulations typically reflect federal law, but it can still be confusing, depending on the employer’s practices and the reason behind the deductions.
Florida follows general wage regulations enforced by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Compared with other states, its rules can be more basic, but they have specific restrictions and prohibitions that employers should keep in mind. These rules can vary based on the deduction’s details, such as the following:
- Costs involving uniforms – These deductions can be lawful, but the final wage amount must not become less than the state’s minimum wage.
- Cash advances or debt – When an employee takes out a loan from their employer, deducting repayments can be lawful. Each company can have varying practices on processing these arrangements, but Florida law has few restrictions for this type of debt.
- Employees’ tools, equipment, accommodation, and food – Deductions for these resources may be lawful if the wage amount remains above the state minimum. However, some circumstances can bring legal action if these supplies are necessary to the business. If it is a standard practice for the employer to cover these charges, employees may file a complaint against the deductions based on the situation.
- Business losses or breakage – Making employees repay business losses or damages can be lawful, but it can depend on the situation’s details. Even if the deductions happened lawfully, employers may face backlash if there is no proof of the employee’s fault as justification.
Other deductions can also come with specific rules enforced by law or internal company policies.
Deducting wages appropriately
Even if a wage deduction is lawful, the affected employees can react negatively. Because of these potential scenarios, it can be beneficial to conduct deductions appropriately, using various methods such as communicating them effectively beforehand and documenting authorizations as needed.