Is it legal for my employer to deduct the hours I worked I if I made a mistake on the job?

UPDATED: Sep 22, 2010

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Is it legal for my employer to deduct the hours I worked I if I made a mistake on the job?

I work for an electrical contractor. If I made a mistake on a job and had to go back and fix it a few days later, is it legal for my employer to deduct the hours worked to fix the problem from my paycheck. There is no provision for this in my employee handbook and no notice, verbal or written, was given. There was no damage done either property or personal, just a matter of redoing some workmanship to comply with electrical code.

Asked on September 22, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Technically, under the law, you should be  paid for all work done--even when it's work done to fix your own mistakes. Of course, if you don't have an employment contract either guaranteeing employment or at least setting out a process (or definining the grounds for) for discipline or termination, your employer could have fired you making a mistake which effectively cost them money (your salary, for the time to redo a mistake you made) and also which was a code violation. Therefore, while what you employer did was improper, it was more lenient treatment than they had to provide; they could have properly terminated, suspended, demoted, reduced salary, or otherwise disciplined, etc. you.

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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