If we terminate an employee for cause, can we ask the employee to reimburse medical deduction for the remaining month

The employee was terminated in the beginning of the month and we were unable to
double up on her bi-wkly benefit deductions. Now accounting wants HR to collect
the balance owed. Is this legal?

Asked on April 13, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you "overpaid" for their health care by prepaying for the whole month when they were terminated at the beginning of the month, legally, your company could try to recover the pro rata portion of the premuim from the employee. But you can't take it out of any final pay owed the employee--the law does not let you withhold or deduct from pay except as legally required (e.g. taxes; court ordered wage garnishment) or with employee consent/agreement. Rather, you'd need to sue him or her for the money. If your company is an LLC or corporation, it would need an attorney to do this (only a lawyer can represent an LLC or corporation in court.) It is not likely worth the cost or effort to do this.

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