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

UPDATED: May 2, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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