What is the law regarding paycheck deductions?

A $100 deduction was made from my paycheck. The reason is that if the floor machine I use is left dirty and not

cleaned after use, I have to pay. The problem is that the client’s staff uses the machine unauthorized and leaves it dirty but I get the deduction. I refused to sign an agreement for the deduction, so now I’m being threatened with my job. I am an independent contractor. Is this legal? Do I have any protection under the law?

Asked on November 30, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

It is not legal to deduct from your paycheck unless you had agreed to the deduction, either ahead of time in writing (e.g. authorizing deductions of this type) or specifically to this deduction. The law is clear that payroll deductions may only be made as required by a court order (e.g. for wage garnishment) or as agreed to by the employee. You could potentially sue for this money (such as in small claims court).
However, if you don't have a written contract guarantying your job for a set period of time (e.g. a one-year contract), you could be fired at any time, for any reason. So you could force them to pay your $100, but could be terminated. Without an employment contract, you have no protection for your job and no right to it.


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