Is it legal for my employer to make a deduction from my pay? Many workplaces have instituted charitable giving campaigns. An employer is allowed to deduct certain items from an employee's paycheck if the employee has voluntarily authorized the deduction in writing. Before withholding can take place, you must receive 30 days' prior written notice from the federal or state agency informing you of the nature of the student loan obligation and the agency's intention to collect the debt through pay deductions. However, as you might have other legal claims with shorter deadlines, do not wait to file your claim until your time limit is close to expiring. While I admit that I owe the money, now that my wages are being garnished, I don't have enough to live on and pay my other expenses. Can my employer fire me for having a garnishment? I work for a fast-food restaurant on the swing shift. If you still have questions about your state's laws relating to child support withholding, then you may wish to contact the agency in your state which handles wage and hour/labor standards violations, listed on our site's state government agencies page, or an attorney familiar with this area of the law. However, rather than purchasing the item from your employer, you may wish to shop around and see if there is a more affordable alternative. 14. Who is covered by federal laws on deductions? Even with a written consent, an employer cannot deduct amounts for property damage or loss of money if any other person had access to it. I then learned that my employer can deduct child support from my paycheck if I do not pay it. While I support the United Way, I don't like being forced to contribute in the workplace. Since it wasn't my fault, is there anything I can do? The only requirement under federal law is that if the employer chooses to have you bear the cost of the tools needed for your job, the deduction cannot take your pay below the minimum wage and/or reduce your overtime compensation. Surprisingly, the answer may be no, depending on what you make. My employer supplied the last set of tools for me, but refuses to provide another set without deducting the cost of the tools from my paycheck. The FLSA does not allow uniforms, or other items which are considered to be primarily for the benefit or convenience of the employer, to be included as wages. It doesn't seem like it's my employer's business whether I pay my child support or not. However, if the employee were paid $7.60 an hour and worked 30 hours in the workweek, the maximum amount the employer could legally deduct from the employee's wages would be $10.50 ($.35 X 30 hours). An employer has the right to make many types of deductions from an employee’s pay. The records may be kept at the place of employment or in a central records office. I am legally required to pay child support to my former spouse, who has custody of our two children. Specifically, consumer creditors, such as credit card issuers and hospitals, must have a money judgment against you, and even then, can deduct only 15% of your wages. You may wish to consult with an attorney prior to filing your claim, if possible. Do I have to pay for food that I don't want to eat? If you fail to make required payments under a government-issued student loan, the federal Department of Education or your state's loan guaranty agency may issue a withholding order, which requires your employer to withhold wages, up to a certain amount, for loan payments. This site provides comprehensive information about job rights and employment issues nationally and in all 50 states. These deductions include the cost of work-specific uniforms, tools, meals, lodging, and more. My wages are currently being garnished to satisfy an unpaid debt. Many state wage payment laws are stricter and provide employees with greater protections than the FLSA. Do I have to authorize this deduction from my paycheck? I am a repairperson, and I must have a particular set of tools to do my job. How do I find out what deductions my employer is taking from my paycheck? Is overtime pay required? Wage-Hour's enforcement of FLSA and CCPA are carried out by investigators stationed across the U.S., who conduct investigations and gather data on wages, hours, and other employment conditions or practices, in order to determine whether an employer has complied with the law. Student loans and other federal government agency garnishments. Discover the power of XpertHR employment law guidance and best practice at your fingertips with a free trial. Many state wage payment laws are stricter and provide employees with greater protections than the FLSA. The following policy statements* will be included in your export: *Use of this material is governed by XpertHR’s Terms and Conditions. Section 193 of the New York Labor Law says that “no employer shall make any deductions from the wages of an employee except deductions which” are either: 1. The Wage Act allows for a "valid set-off" from wages due to employees paid a salary or hourly wage. I recently learned that my employer has deducted a contribution to the workplace United Way campaign from my paycheck. If you still have questions about your state's laws relating to wage garnishment, then you may wish to contact the agency in your state which handles wage and hour/labor standards violations, listed on our site's state government agencies page, or an attorney familiar with this area of the law. "Disposable pay" refers to employee compensation after legally required deductions. My wages are currently being garnished to satisfy an unpaid debt. 11. Certain deductions may specifically reduce pay below the minimum. Hours worked each day and total hours worked each workweek. Hourly employees, on the other hand, do not have to be paid by their employer for jury duty. For example, if an employee who is subject to the statutory minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is paid an hourly wage of $7.25, the employer may not make any deduction from the employee's wages for the cost of the uniform nor may the employer require the employee to purchase the uniform on his/her own. More about Workplace Fairness. Some states have their own laws on wage garnishment. 7. I am required to wear a uniform for work. For further information, please contact the agency in your state which handles wage and hour/labor standards violations, listed on our site's state government agencies page. Some employees may value being able to eat the employer's food for cost and may choose to have that cost deducted from their paychecks, because it is more convenient to do so. 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