What to do if I was given my paycheck a day early and now my company has deducted $150 from my paycheck without notice?

I was given my paycheck a day early by my boss every week for about 2 months and about a month later the company that I work for deducted $150 from my paycheck without notice. The reason behind this deduction was because I received my paycheck a day early and deposited the check on the same day which was the day before the date on the check. Is what they did llegal and, if so, what my course of action should?

Asked on September 7, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, your employer may not do this:

1) You are most likely not liable for to your employer for depositing the check the day you are given it--while it is true that you *should* have waited, to recover money from you in a lawsuit, they'd have to prove all of the following: that you were negligent, or unreasaonbly careless, in not checking the date; that they were  not negligent in giving you the check a day early without asking you to hold it; and that they actually suffered $150 of loss. It is not likely they could show all these things.

2) Even if you owed your employer money, they may not deduct it from your paycheck without your approval or permission. If you refused to agree to this, they'd have sue you and win to get the money.

All the above said, before deciding what to do (for example, suing in small claims court for the money, if they won't repay you), bear in mind that if you do not have an employment contract, you are an employee at will and could potentially be fired at any time your employer chose.


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