Is it legal to take someone’s full paycheck to cover medical benefits while they were out on maternity leave?

UPDATED: Jul 24, 2011

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Is it legal to take someone’s full paycheck to cover medical benefits while they were out on maternity leave?

I am returning back to work after maternity leave. I am unable to pay my portion of medical benefits at this time. They want to take the full amount out of my checks when I return. I was sent an invoice for $1,400 of benefits accrued while I was out. Maternity leave was unpaid. Is there a law that protects me besides the FMLA law? At this rate I will work 2 months with no pay. What are my options at this point?

Asked on July 24, 2011 Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Congratulations on the birth of your child!  I am so sorry that you have to deal with this junk during this time. I would contact your state Department of Labor and ask their help in trying to iron out this matter.  It seems quite unreasonable that you should have to pay it back all at once and it may be possible for you to make a deal with your employer to allow you to pay it back a little over time.  You still have to pay your regular policy premium as well, correct?  It will be too much of a burden on you financially and it should not have to happen.  Seek help.  Good luck. 

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