Wage And Hour Laws In Florida: What To Know About The State’s Paycheck Deduction Laws
Workers are the backbone of our economy. All employees must be paid fairly, in accordance with all federal, state, and local laws. This raises an important question: Can an employer deduct wages from an employee’s check in Florida? The answer is ‘yes’—as Florida has no dedicated state paycheck deduction law, employers must comply with federal regulations. In this article, you will find an overview of the most important things to know about paycheck deductions in Florida.
Mandatory Deductions: FICA Deductions are Required By Federal Law
First and foremost, there are some required paycheck deductions under federal law. All employers are required to ensure that employees contribute as required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). FICA contributions—which cover Social Security and Medicare—are mandatory. If you’re an employee in Florida, FICA should be deducted from your paycheck.
No State Law: Florida Provides Employers Broad Discretion on Deductions
While some states have put their own paycheck deduction regulations in place, Florida has no dedicated state statute on this matter. In effect, this means that an employer has relatively broad discretion to take deductions from an employee’s paycheck. In Florida, an employer may be able to deduct for:
- Contributions to certain types of health coverage, retirement, or other benefits;
- Cash register shortages;
- Damage to property in the workplace;
- Employee uniforms; and
- Certain equipment required for employment.
Employers Must Comply With Minimum Wage and Overtime Regulations
Business and nonprofit organizations in Florida are required to comply with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA applies to all companies engaged in interstate commerce and all companies with $500,000 or more in annual revenue. Under the FLSA, an employer must follow federal minimum wage requirements and federal overtime requirements. An employer cannot take a paycheck deduction in Florida that would bring an employee below the federal minimum wage for a specific pay period—even if the deduction in question would otherwise be permissible.
As explained by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (Fact Sheet #16), “no deduction may be made from an employee’s wages which would reduce the employee’s earnings below the required minimum wage or overtime compensation.” The DOL notes that an employer could prorate certain deductions over multiple paychecks to ensure compliance with federal minimum wage requirements and federal overtime requirements. As an example, imagine that a Florida employee is being required to cover $500 in property damage through paycheck deductions. An employer could prorate that amount over 50 weeks, at $10 per week.
Get Help From a Wage and Hour Claims Attorney in Florida
All workers deserve fair wages. When an employer violates the Fair Labor Standards Act or any other federal or state wage and hour regulation, they must be held accountable. If you believe that your rights were violated due to unlawful deductions from your paycheck, please do not hesitate to get in touch with an experienced Florida wage and hour lawyer.