Can an employer make you pay shortages without proof of it or your consent?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer make you pay shortages without proof of it or your consent?

2 fellow co-workers and myself were paid on Friday, but they told me I was short $53 and the other 2 girls were short $100 and $44. They didn’t inform us of these shortages until the day of payday, and said we must pay it before we could get out check. Is this legal?

Asked on October 29, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Typically, deductions from wages may only be made for accidental overpayments, those deductions required by law (taxes, child support, etc.) or those agreed to in writng by the employee. If you feel that your rights havve been violated, then you can contact your state's department of labor and file a wage claim and/or sue your employer in small claims court (although the latter is probably not worth it in your case).

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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