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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.


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