Can your employor deduct from your paycheck for a lost item without you signing anything?

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Can your employor deduct from your paycheck for a lost item without you signing anything?

Asked on July 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, employers may only deduct from an employee's paycheck with employee consent (including if the  employee had signed something in advance, allowing deductions in certain circumstances) or as required by law (e.g. FICA; court-ordered wage garnishment). If you lost an item, or the employer at least believes you lost an item, however, it may do either or both of the following:

1) Demote, suspend, discipline, or fire you, so long as you do not have an employment contract preventing it from doing this.

2) Sue you for the value of the  item; it could recover that value if it could prove in court that you were responsible for the item's loss either due to negligence (carelessness) or a deliberate wrongful act.


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