Can employers punish employees by garnishing wages?

I work at a Dairy Queen and we recently were bought by a new owner. In our new hand guide there is nothing about garnishing wages as punishment. However, 2 new policies have come into play. The first being that if an employee quits, all of their meals from that pay period are then charged full price to their account instead of our promised half price. The second being that if the door isn’t fully locked. I think our door is breaking not that employees aren’t locking it when we close, and it unlocks and trips the alarm, the closing crew from that night are then charged $25 for the issue. Is this legal?

Asked on June 10, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It is legal if you are made aware of the policy in advance of it being implemented against you. If you are aware of the policy but continue to work there (i.e. do not quit) after being made aware of it, by the act of working there with knowledge of the policy, you are considered to have consented or agreed to it. Wage deductions are permissible wth employee consent, so if you consent to the policy--even implicitly, by continuing to work there with knowledge of the policy--you can have deductions.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It is legal if you are made aware of the policy in advance of it being implemented against you. If you are aware of the policy but continue to work there (i.e. do not quit) after being made aware of it, by the act of working there with knowledge of the policy, you are considered to have consented or agreed to it. Wage deductions are permissible wth employee consent, so if you consent to the policy--even implicitly, by continuing to work there with knowledge of the policy--you can have deductions.


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