My boss keeps threatening to make us pay for drive offs that we approve on our shifts. Drivers hit the 'pay inside' button on the pump and we hit the 'approve' button so they can pump gas and then they come inside to pay. Is it legal for him to make us pay him for drive offs? I do not believe that is legal but I have no proof and it is difficult to navigate the laws. He has also held back terminated employee's checks and made deductions from them and made them come into his office to pick them up (I'm not sure if he gives them cash or a check). Do I have to pay him or could he deduct this from my check if I refuse to pay?
Minnesota law states "no employer shall make any deduction, directly or indirectly, from wages due or earned by any employee, who is not an independent contractor, for lost or stolen property, damage to property, or to recover any other claimed indebtedness running from employee to employer, unless the employee, after the loss has occurred or the claimed indebtedness has arisen, voluntarily authorizes the employer in writing to make the deduction . . . ." Otherwise put, if you are classified as an employee (doesn't apply if you are an independent contractor) then your employer cannot hold money you allegedly owe the business for lost or stolen property unless you give your employer written permission to do so, and this written permission was given after the gas was lost or stolen.
Also, even if you give an employer written permission to deduct money alleged to be owed, no employer can make any deduction that would bring the employee's gross wages below the minimum wage.
The Minnesota law stated above can be found at the link below.
You should consult with an attorney. I offer free consultations and would be willing to further talk with you about your situation.
Best of luck --
Adam W. Klotz
612.223.6767- Free Case Evaluations
Under Minnesota law, employers generally cannot make deductions from an employee's pay unless the employee has authorized the deduction in writing. Specifically, Minn. Stat. § 181.79 provides that “no employer shall make any deduction, directly or indirectly, from the wages due or earned by any employee, who is not an independent contractor, for lost or stolen property, damage to property, or to recover any other claimed indebtedness running from employee to employer, unless the employee, after the loss has occurred or the claimed indebtedness has arisen, voluntarily authorizes the employer in writing to make the deduction or unless the employee is held liable in a court of competent jurisdiction for the loss or indebtedness. Such authorization shall not be admissible as evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding. Any authorization for a deduction shall set forth the amount to be deducted from the employee's wages during each pay period.”
In addition, if the deduction reduces your effective rate of pay below the federal and/or state minimum wage, you might have a claim for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MFLSA).
Finally, under Minn. Stat. 181.032, at the end of each pay period, the employer must provide you with an earnings statement that includes certain information, including "a list of deductions from the employee's pay."
I wish you luck dealing with the situation.
Craig W. Trepanier, Esq.
Trepanier & MacGillis P.A.
Minnesota Unpaid Wages Lawyer
As with all of my answers, this posting is not intended as legal advice, does not create an attorney-client relationship, should not be relied upon due to the limited facts and space available, and is not a substitute for individual legal advice from your own attorney after a full consultation.
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