Can company gifts values be deducted from your check?

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Can company gifts values be deducted from your check?

I work for a national grocery chain. At thanksgiving and other times they give us gift cards to the stores we work for. But the exact value of these cards is deducted from our checks. Eg If we receive a $25 gift card $25 is also deducted from our regular pay, plus the taxes we owe on the cards amount. Can a company really replace our pay with gift cards to themselves? I’d rather have my cash.

Asked on December 21, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Paycheck deductions are only allowed if an employee agrees to it or it is required by law (child support payments, alimony, certain taxes, garnishments, etc.). Otherwise, an employer has no right to take any money from a worker's paycheck. That having been said, as a practical matter, it's not worth the time and trouble to file a wage claim with your state's department of labor and/or sue in small claims court.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, they can only do this if the employees consent, or agree, to it: there is no deductions from employee paychecks except as consented to (e.g. deductions for employee health insurance) or as required by law (e.g. deductions for court-ordered wage garnishment). Practically, to get the money back, you'd have to either file a wage-and-hour complaint with the department of labor or sue your employer for it, both of which very drastic actions to take over $25.00.


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