If I owe my employer money, can they just take it out of my paycheck?

My employer made a mistake on my AFLAC deduction. Their fault, not mine. They now say I owe them over $1,200. They are pressuring me to agree to pay the money back. They said that they would take it out of my paycheck. What is my legal rights here? I’m OK with paying back if legally required, it’s just that I can’t afford to do anything but pay a little each week.

Asked on October 13, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unless you consented to such a deduction in writing, your employer is not legally allowed to take money out of your paycheck. While you may owe your employer the money, it can either work a out a repayment arrangement with you or even sue you in court, but it cannot arbitrarily deduct from your wages you would need to give your permission for this to be done. I
If you feel that your rights are being violated, you can consult directly with an employment law attorney in your area and/or file a complaint with your state's department of labor.


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