Can an employer deduct wages or pay from a paycheck to compensate for a mistake made or money lost?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an employer deduct wages or pay from a paycheck to compensate for a mistake made or money lost?

My boyfriend works for a sandwich company and he forgot to put in an order worth $130. He refunded the customer $50 for their order but his boss ended up taking out the full $130 from his paycheck. His boss has done this before with other mistakes and other employees. Is this legal?

Asked on March 4, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

An employer may not deduct money from an employee's paycheck without the employee's consent or agreement. (Apart, that is, from deductions required by law--FICA, certain wage garnishments, such as for child support or back taxes, etc.) So the employer cannot simply take the money from your boyfriend. However, an employer may terminate or fire an employee whom it believes has cost the employer money, such as by forgetting an order. The employer could also theoretically sue an employee whom it believes cost it money either deliberately or through negligence (unreasonable carelessness), though as practical matter, it is unlikely to do so for amounts this size.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption