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Can My Employer Make Deductions From My Paycheck For Property Damage? I Need The Top Wage Theft Lawyer In Ohio!

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2016 | Wage: Minimum Wage, Wage: Overtime, Wage: Tipped Employees |

Best Ohio Wage and Hour Attorney Answer: What can I do if my boss took most of my paycheck for damage to a customer’s property? Can my employer make deductions from my paycheck to punish me? Can my manager make me pay if my drawer is short at the end of my shift?

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Our wage and hour attorneys are frequently asked by employees whether their employer can make certain deductions from their paycheck. (See Can A Restaurant Employer Penalize An Employee For Being A Victim Of A Dine-And-Dash?; Can My Employer Dock My Pay For Missed Time If I’m A Salaried Employee?; and Best Attorney Answers: Can My Boss Make Me Pay For Uniforms?). While employees usually understand that their employer must make deductions for things like taxes and garnishments, dubious employers often attempt to use illegal deductions to increase their bottom line at the expense of their employees. Which deductions may an employer lawfully make?

The main consideration in any case where deductions are made is whether the deduction at issue results in the employee being paid less than the applicable minimum wage or overtime rate. So long as the deduction does not result in a reduction of the rate of pay below these limits — $7.25 under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA“), $8.10 under Ohio law, it is permissible. (See What Is Minimum Wage In Ohio For 2016? – Call The Right Attorney). Thus, as a rule of thumb, an employee who makes the minimum wage or something close to the minimum wage cannot have any deductions taken out of their check other than lawful ones for taxes, garnishments, or deductions for benefits the employee has authorized. It would be illegal for an employer of a minimum wage employee to make deductions for:

  • A short cash register;
  • Uniforms;
  • Damaged or lost property;
  • Employer-required drug test or physical test; and
  • Losses caused by the employee’s negligence
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Likewise, only those deductions which are for the benefit of the employer are impermissible. In certain cases, an employer may deduct items that are for the employee’s benefit – such as a restaurant deducting meals for an employee – only if the deduction reflects the true cost of the benefit (they shouldn’t be profiting off of the meal). Likewise – the employee has to be the true beneficiary of the item provided. An employer cannot, for example, deduct one meal a day if the employee is not actually accepting and eating the meal.

A lot of this may seem intuitive, and based on common sense. However, there are a lot of tricky points and critical details that go into evaluating these types of wage and hour claims and wage theft issues, which makes it very difficult for most employees to figure out completely on their own. Luckily, you don’t have to.

If you believe that your employer is not paying you all of your wages, paying you less than minimum wage, unlawfully deducting money from your paycheck, not paying you time and a half for overtime, or is otherwise cheating you out of wages requires contact the minimum wage violation lawyers and overtime claim attorneys at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm today for a free and confidential initial consultation. You may have a claim under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act or Ohio Fair Labor Standards Act. The wage and hour lawyers at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm will provide you with the best options for your wage and hour pay dispute situation. If you even think that you may be entitled to overtime pay that you are not being paid, call 866-797-6040.


The materials available at the top of this overtime, wage and hour web page and at this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “Am I entitled to overtime?”, “Does my job have to pay me for …”, “My paycheck is not right…” or “What do I do if…”, the your best option is to contact an Ohio overtime attorney to obtain advice with respect to FLSA questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at the top of this page or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.

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