What to do if I was recently fired from my job and there was a deduction made for work clothes?

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What to do if I was recently fired from my job and there was a deduction made for work clothes?

I live in a no-fault state, so my employer gave me no reason why I was fired. During my employment, I was given scrubs to wear to work. The employer never asked for the scrubs back, and in my last paycheck, $180 was taken out to pay for the scrubs. I never signed anything while being employed stating I would have to pay for these upon my termination, nor did the employer ask for them back when I was fired. Do I have a case to get the money back that was deducted?

Asked on December 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Employers may not deduct or withhold any amounts from employee paychecks except (1) as required by law (e.g. FICA withholding; court-ordered wage garnishment); or (2) as consented (agreed to) by the employee (e.g. deductions for a 401k or health-insurance).

You therefore should be able to sue to recover the money, such as in small claims court. If your employer believes that you did legitimately owe it the money (such as if it claims there was some agreement you would repay the cost of the scrubs if fired), it could counterclaim on that basis in your lawsuit, but would have to prove that you were obligated to pay for the scrubs.


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