Can an employer deduct insurance premiums from a paycheck prior to an employee being eligible for benefits?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer deduct insurance premiums from a paycheck prior to an employee being eligible for benefits?

I began work 10/26 and am paid weekly. However, $20/week has been deducted for health insurance every week beginning with the very first paycheck. I just found out today I was not eligible for coverage until 01/01. Can my employer deduct premiums if I’m not even eligible for coverage?

Asked on January 19, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, your employer cannot deduct from your check for any period of time before you begin receiving coverage: the deductions are for the premium--you get coverage in exchange for the deductions--and there is no legal basis to dedcut or withhold money before you get coverage. They cannot take your money without giving you anything in return.  You could potentially take legal action to get the money back (e.g. sue; or file a complaint with the department of labor), but you need to decide whether it is worth taking legal action over the amount of money involved.

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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