Can an employer make deductions for a paper mistake?

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Can an employer make deductions for a paper mistake?

Hypothetical situation with an exempt employee who works from 8 am to 4 pm.

Employee leaves work at 2 pm and clocks out on the 1st. 2 hours early. Upon arrival the next day when submitting sick leave form, employee accidentally puts the 2nd on the form which is the wrong date. The employee was at work from 8-4 on the 2nd and the time clock substantiates this. Payroll docks an employee’s check for 2 hours worth of salary for the 1st.2 hours is also taken out of accumulated sick leave for the 2nd. Is this legal?

Asked on August 19, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal; under the federal labor laws, like the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees must be paid for all hours worked. A paperwork problem or error is not a legal excuse for not paying employees, nor is the fact that it would be inconvenient for the employer to redo or revise payroll. If they won't, you could file a complaint with the labor department, which may help you, or else sue (such as in small claims court, as your own attorney, or pro se) for the money. Of course, filing a complaint against or suing your employer is a drastic step, so you need to think about whether it is worthwhile for the amount of money at stake.


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