Is it legal for a restaurant to automatically deduct $5 per night for “employee meals” whetheror not an employeeactually eats?

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Is it legal for a restaurant to automatically deduct $5 per night for “employee meals” whetheror not an employeeactually eats?

My employer started doing this without us agreeing or signing a consent. We only get paid $2.35 an hour so they take out 2 hours of wages.

Asked on January 20, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I would contact your state Department of labor on the matter and discuss it with them further.  But my gut instinct is telling me that what they are doing is not allowed.  They can not charge you for meals that you do not eat, regardless of the amount of the meal.  That is really stealing from you and garnishing wages for no reason.  The Department of Labor will take your complaint ad will protect you from any retribution - known as whistleblower laws. (ask if you can file it anonymously for the time being while they conduct an investigation).  Maybe a bunch of you could call.  Ther is strength in numbers.  Good luck to you.


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