Deduction of Pay

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Deduction of Pay

An amount of money was recently stolen
from my place of work. My employer
wants to deduct the amount taken from
my paycheck even though the theft was
not directly my fault. Can he legally
do this?

Asked on August 11, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, West Virginia


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

My research suggests that in W. Va., without an employee's consent, an employer may not deduct from a worker’s wages for any of they following: shortages, damages, uniforms, rent, tools or any other necessary item.
Further, a company cannot withhold or deduct wages from an employee’s paycheck, unless it is:

required to do so by law (e.g. taxes, child support, etc.),
authorized for union/club dues, pension plans/payroll savings plans, credit unions, charities and medical insurance; or
agreed to by the employee.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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