Deductions from paycheck.

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Deductions from paycheck.

My employer is deducting 107 dollars from my paycheck. I do have a written

statement that I did sign upon hired for cash shortages. 80 dollars was removed from the register, and I did not take it. I have been in a state of both emotional and mental duress, leading to a tension migraine that sent me to the ER. There was no investigation as to where this money went, nor any sort of consequental action due to not adhering to policy. With my hours worked during this pay

period, I believe I won’t make federal minimum wage, post deduction for cash

shortages. Is this legal? To be deducted past federal minimum wage for the cash shortages that I believe are a benefit or convience to the company I work for.

Asked on September 17, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you signed anything allowing them to deduct for cash shortgages, then they deduct as long as they follow the rules, procedures, etc. set out in the document you signed: in that case, you agreed contractually to allow the deductions, but because that document represents a contract, they cannot exceed its parameters.
If you did not sign anything allowing this deduction, and if you did not otherwise consent to it, they cannot take the money from your paycheck: employers may *only* deduct from paychecks as required by law (e.g. court-ordered wage garnishment) or as agreed to by the employee. If they unlawfully take money, you could file a complaint with the state department of labor and/or sue (e.g. in small claims court, "pro se," or as your own attorney, to save on legal costs--though you'd still have the filing fee to pay) for the money.
However, bear in mind that if you don't have a written employment contract protecting your employment, your employer could, as an alternative to recovering the money from you, terminate you, and they could do so without any evidence other than suspicion or any investigation. Without a contract, you are an "employee at will" and, as the term implies, may be fired at the will of your employer.


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