Is it legal for my employer to withhold money from my paycheck?

UPDATED: Jul 20, 2015

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Is it legal for my employer to withhold money from my paycheck?

There was a possible shortage due to theft.

Asked on July 20, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Under�the law, most states hold that as long as the employee still earns at least the minimum wage after deductions, there's no rule against charging losses and damage to them. Some other states only allow such deductions only if the employee acted dishonestly, willfully, or in a grossly negligent manner. And at least one state (CA) doesn't allow for these deductions at all. However, before making up any shortage out of an employee's paycheck, the employee must consent to it in writing. Otherise, the employer must pay them the full amount of their paycheck and then sue them in court to get the shortage.

To find out the law in your state, you can contact your state's department of labor.

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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