Is it illegal for my employer to deduct a hotel stay from my wages on a business trip, after a I worked that full day and it was only at the end of the day I handed in my resignation?

Asked on November 7, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, the employer may not deduct anything from your wages, unless you agreed to let them do so (or unless it was required by law--e.g. FICA witholding). However, under the circumstances you describe, the employer might be able to sue you and recover that money, on the grounds that they would not have sent you on that trip or reimbursed your stay if they had known you would resign immediately after--in essence, that you committed a form of fraud by going on the trip as if you were intending to continue your employment. You could therefore try to sue the employer to recover the money they deducted, but if you do, be aware that they might choose to counterclaim against you and could possibly win, which would result in you, at the end of the day, recovering little or nothing.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.