If I have an employee that ruined hundreds of dollars worth of product due to negligence, is it legal for me to deduct that from their wages?

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If I have an employee that ruined hundreds of dollars worth of product due to negligence, is it legal for me to deduct that from their wages?

I’m a small business owner. The amount of goods ruined is far greater than the total wages earned by said employee.

Asked on January 17, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Pay day laws in every state require an employer to pay an employee the amounts that they have earned.  An employer is allowed to deduct amounts to satisfy tax obligations, court orders, or other agreements between the employer and employee.  Tax and court obligations would not apply to your situation.  The third could potentially apply---if the employee voluntarily agreed to payments being withheld from his check.  (Emphasis here is voluntary).  If he will not agree to the deductions voluntarily, then you would need to sue him for the damages and try to get a wage garnishment to authorize the deductions.


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