Can my employer deduct damages from my paycheck?

I work for a moving company who charges us for damages, tools required for the job, and charges for accident repairs to company vehicles.

Asked on July 26, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Employers may only deduct costs or damages from an employee paycheck with employee consent, so only if you have agreed to allow  them to do this, they can. Such agreement could potentially be found from your continuing to work there after being told clearly (and preferably in writing) what the policy is. Therefore, depending on the circumstances and what they could show you agreed to, it may be the case that your employer could deduct damages from your paycheck.

Note that even if the employer cannot simply deduct damages because you did not consent, they could ask for reimbursement of costs they contend you caused them, then fire you if you refuse to make good the amount(s); they also have the option of suing you for the money if they feel that you intentionally or negligently (carelessly) caused them enough damage that it would be economically worthwhile to take action.


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