Can an employer deduct money for property damage without the employee’s



approval?

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Can an employer deduct money for property damage without the employee’s

approval?

I am a truck driver and accidentally backed into a fence at a customer’s location. My company is trying to take money out of my check for it.

Asked on May 19, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In TN, employers must make deductions from wages as required by law for such things as tax withholding, Social Security contributions, and/or wage garnishments. Other than that, there are few specific provisions regulating payroll deductions. Employers and employees are free to make additional arrangements for deductions they consider mutually acceptable, provided they comply with federal law related to deductions from wages. Bottom line, a company should have written authorization from a worker before making any deductions from their wages (other than those required by law). That having been said, this does not mean that your employer cannot hold you liable for the damage, just that they will have to either get you to agree to pay for it in writing or take you to court. A unilaterl decision to make such a deduction is illegal.


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