in arkansas, is it illegal for an employer to deduct money owed in full after termination?

I was recently terminated. I worked at
an auto shop and had ordered parts in
the past thru the shop. The parts i
ordered were on my tab so to speak, i
had agreed to pay 25 dollars a week out
of my check to pay for my parts tab.
But when i was terminated, my former
boss took all but just over 300 dollars
out of my last 2 checks. Is that legal
in arkansas?

Asked on April 12, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal: even when a employee does owe an employer money, as you evidently did, the employer may not deduct those funds from the employee's paycheck withot employee consent or agreement to do so. That said, there is no point in suing for the money (which would be the only way for you to get it): if you sued for the withheld pay, they would almost certainly countersue for the balance owed on the parts and would very likely win (since again, you owe the money, and can no longer pay it through paycheck deductions, since you are not working there any more). Therefore, since you and they would be suing each other for the same amount, your respective claims would net out against each other and you'd end up in the same place you are now, economically.


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