Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.To answer your question directly, you are essentially asking if the company can transfer such costs and expenses onto their employees. The answer is not favorable to you, so kindly do not blame the messenger--so long as the employer directly and expressly states that this is the policy of the employer, such a policy is legal. Many companies engage in what is very much a shady practice of holding their own employees responsible for costs that are not really associated with their work--companies can lawfully charge back refunds, hold parties such as yourself responsible for specific costs of appraisals or reports, and cover it only under specific conditions. That is permitted regardless of whether or not you are an independent contractor or an employee, provided the employer clearly delineated the policy, such a policy is lawful.I am genuinely sorry.
One last question. You state "if it is the employers policy" - Must this be a written policy? For example, in my compensation plan there is nothing about this policy, neither is there anywhere in the employee handbook. Thank you.
Thank you for your follow-up.The policy does not have to be written or pt into the employee handbook to be valid, the policy simply has to be directly communicated, known, and provided to the employees. In this case the fact that the policy was not printed can potentially permit you to claim that you weren't notified until the employer began withholding funds from your payment without consent (something that would violate state employment laws). But if you were informed, either by email or even orally, and this policy has been in existence for a while that you were exposed to, the fact you would remain working there gives credence to the policy. The potential 'out' I see for you is if you never signed any agreement or consented to any withholding directly--that would violate state law and would permit you to file a grievance against the employer with the state department of labor. The policy of withholding itself is not illegal, but withholding money without consent IS against state law, and I hope I was able to qualify the difference for you.Good luck.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).