Can my employer deduct the cost of mandatory training classes from my final paycheck?

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Can my employer deduct the cost of mandatory training classes from my final paycheck?

Classes are required by the state. The employee handbook does state that the company will do this if the employee is not on staff for 15 months or longer, which I was not. I was not paid my hourly wage to be at the training courses. I was not told the price of the training courses prior to taking the courses.

Asked on May 2, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Can a company make an employee pay his or her own cost of state-required or otherwise mandatory training classes? Yes; an employer does not need to pick up this cost for employees.

2) Can the cost be deducted from an employee's paycheck? In certain situations, if the company advanced the employee money and there was a written agreement to allow the company to take repayment of that loan from the employee's check. However, unless structured properly and unless specifically agreed to in advance in writing, the company can't deduct even money lawfully owed by the employee.

3) An employee paid hourly wages must be paid for time spent at a training course which the company required him or her to go to.


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