Is it legal for my employer to dock my pay 1000 because my spouse did not fill out an online health survey?

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Is it legal for my employer to dock my pay 1000 because my spouse did not fill out an online health survey?

I am a school district employee. My district requires employees and their
spouses to complete an annual physical and complete an online health survey.
This is NOT an insurance company directive. We both completed the physical but
my wife who is not a district employee did not do the online survey. My
payroll department notified me that they are deducting 1000 from my paycheck in
monthly installments beginning in July 2017. Can the legally do this? The
district is dropping this requirement next school year Starts in July 2017, but
they are still fining me.

Asked on May 11, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, they may NOT do this except as below. The law is clear that there are no payroll deductions without employee consent (other than as otherwise required by law: e.g. court- or IRS-ordered wage garnishment). They can't deduct money for failing to take an online survey. 
The exception would be IF you had notice that under the district-provided health insurance, if an employee spouse fails to do the survey, then there is a $1,000 surcharge and you, in knowledge of that requirement, still took the insurance; in this case, you could be considered to have agreed to it.
But other the above--i.e. a policy you demonstrably consented to, even if you did not consent to this specific deduction at this time--they can't do this, and you could potentially file a complant with the department of labor or sue for the money.


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