What is the law regarding paycheck deductions?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What is the law regarding paycheck deductions?

A $100 deduction was made from my paycheck. The reason is that if the floor machine I use is left dirty and not

cleaned after use, I have to pay. The problem is that the client’s staff uses the machine unauthorized and leaves it dirty but I get the deduction. I refused to sign an agreement for the deduction, so now I’m being threatened with my job. I am an independent contractor. Is this legal? Do I have any protection under the law?

Asked on November 30, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is not legal to deduct from your paycheck unless you had agreed to the deduction, either ahead of time in writing (e.g. authorizing deductions of this type) or specifically to this deduction. The law is clear that payroll deductions may only be made as required by a court order (e.g. for wage garnishment) or as agreed to by the employee. You could potentially sue for this money (such as in small claims court).
However, if you don't have a written contract guarantying your job for a set period of time (e.g. a one-year contract), you could be fired at any time, for any reason. So you could force them to pay your $100, but could be terminated. Without an employment contract, you have no protection for your job and no right to it.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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