Can my employer deduct wages for a required airport badge.

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Can my employer deduct wages for a required airport badge.

I am a seasonal employee at Denver International Airport. I have worked at the airport for several years. A couple of months ago my employer announced that all employees would be required to pay a 150 deposit for our airfield badges. The fee would be automatically taken out of our checks.

I never signed anything authorizing my employer to make this deduction. It is my understanding that the badge is the property of the airport and must be surrendered upon termination of employment whether the employee quits or is involuntarily terminated. I have been looking for a different job but fear that I will not get back my 150 deposit when I return my badge.

Is it legal for me to hold the badge until I recover my deposit?

Asked on November 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you continue working after being told that you have to pay a deposit for a badge, your continued employment can be taken as implied ageement to pay the amount: when you do X (e.g. work) knowing you'll have to pay Y, you have agreed to pay Y. Therefore, if you told that there would be a deduction for this deposit and you do not quit/resign after that, you have consented to the deduction. 
If you do not return the badge, they don't have to return the deposit: you get the deposit back on return of the badge. If they don't return it, you could sue them, such as in small claims court acting as your own attorney (pro se; in order to save on legal fees) for the money.


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