Can my employer take money from my paycheck?

I’m a manager at a fast food chain. I accidentally left a roast in a turned off oven over night, after it had finished cooking. They are now trying to take the cost of the roast out of my paycheck. Is this legal? I work at a franchise, not a corporate store.

Asked on August 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Many states have laws requiring employers to obtain an employee's authorization before making any deductions from pay. The Ohio wage and hour statutes require employers to have express authorization before making deductions for damage to tools or equipment (Ohio Rev. Code §§ 4113.15; 4113.19). 

Additionally, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may affect the amount of money an employer can deduct from an employee’s paycheck. Deductions/reimbursements that are primarily for the employer’s benefit should not reduce a non-exempt employee’s pay below the minimum wagel exempt employees must receive a guaranteed salary of $455 per week.

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