Can an employer withhold wages for cash drawer shortages without notice?

Asked on January 16, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, an employer can only deduct for such shortages if either: exisiting company policy or a union/employment contract allow for this; or the employee has agreed to it.

As for withholding a paycheck based on a shortage, again this too is a violation of law. If an employer has the right to be compensated for a shortfall of this type, what it must do is to pay an employee their paycheck and, in turn, have the employee pay the amount in question back over to it. If the employee refuses to pay, then the employer can seek its remedy at law; in other words sue for the money.

Bottom line, if your paycheck is being illegally withheld, you need to file a complaint with your state's department of labor.

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