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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    102

    Thumbs down Can Employees Be Required to Pay For Gas and Uniform

    I work for a plumbing company that travels sometimes 2 hours away from the company's location. I would say in a given day I travel 200 miles...I am required to pay for my own gas-is this legal?
    Also, I am required by the company to have a company cell phone, but I am also required to pay for it with $20 taken out of each week's paycheck.
    Finally, I am required to pay for uniforms-I received 5 uniforms (pants and a shirt) when I started and they charge $20 out of each paycheck.
    None of these payments ever stop. I have already paid $960 for my uniforms after working for 6 months and have not received any more other than my original 5 uniforms...
    Between the fact that i am strictly commission-salary, I pay child support, and I pay all of these other fees...I'm not bringing in anything. I have literally gotten checks of $0.00...
    I don't see how this is legal-is there anywhere that I could report this? Can anyone give me any information about it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,948

    Exclamation Re: Are All These Charges Legal

    Not without knowing the state in which you are located...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Are All These Charges Legal

    Florida, sorry-I forgot!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,357

    Default Re: Are All These Charges Legal

    There are only two states that require business-related mileage to be reimbursed and Florida is neither one of them. You may, however, be able to claim unreimbursed business expenses as a deduction on your 1040. See a tax preparer if you need information about this.

    Regarding the cell phone, Florida wage and hour law is virtually nonexistent, and federal law regarding the deduction is not much better, except to say that deductions for the benefit of the employer (which is what this is) may not reduce the employee's pay for any given workweek for which it is deducted, to less than minimum wage, nor can the deduction be taken from overtime pay. Federal law requires that minimum wage and overtime pay be received "free and clear". I imagine that the employer is mandating this deduction to estimate for personal calls on the phone (assuming that employees are probably going to make them), thereby reducing or eliminating the need for review of the bills every month. If you can show that you NEVER, EVER use the phone for personal calls (although you'd probably have to have the company do that research), you would certainly have a good case for requesting that your employer cease the deduction.

    Do you do the maintenance on the uniforms? Or does a uniform company do it? Do you own the uniforms now?

    What does "strictly commission-salary" mean in your case? Do you do manual labor?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Are All These Charges Legal

    The amount that is taken out does not bring it down below minimum wage every time.
    These phones are only the "chirp" phones-just radios basically. No phone calls in or out.
    I wash the uniforms and yes, they are mine.
    I do not get an hourly wage. If I sell a part or a service on a call, I get a percentage. If I don't sell anything, I get nothing.
    No manual labor, just going over people's units and then telling them if something needs to be fixed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,357

    Default Re: Are All These Charges Legal

    For any workweek in which the deduction DOES bring you to below minimum wage for all hours worked, the deduction is prohibited.

    So what is this $20 supposed to be for?

    What is your primary job responsibility? Sales or service?

    Regarding the uniforms, have you asked the person who does payroll why you are still paying for these uniforms at this late date?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Are All These Charges Legal

    They take $20 for the use of the cell phone that I am required to have. And they call me on my personal cell phone to give me information on customers.
    Sales.
    I asked and they stated that it's in case I ever need another uniform (let's say I lose a shirt) they will replace it. I think it's a pretty exorbitant amount of money though...and what if I NEVER need a new shirt or pants?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,357

    Default Re: Are All These Charges Legal

    Quote Quoting letsprocre8
    View Post
    Sales.
    I asked and they stated that it's in case I ever need another uniform (let's say I lose a shirt) they will replace it. I think it's a pretty exorbitant amount of money though...and what if I NEVER need a new shirt or pants?
    1. Then there is NO minimum wage or salary requirement if your primary responsbility is outside sales.

    2. Then they're going to refund all that money?

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