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I damaged something at work. Can my employer make me pay for it?

Illegal deductions wages

No. It is illegal for the employer to shift the normal costs of doing business -- such as an item that becomes damaged or broken in the normal course of work -- to the employee.

When I was at the AG's Office, one of my illegal deductions cases involved an IHOP restaurant where the employer was taking from the waiters' wages the cost for “breakages” of dishware. We got that money back for the employees.

Another example of an employer illegally shifting the cost of business to its employees is this one, where a garbage collection company was charging employee-truck drivers for damaged trucks or the personal property of others when damaged by accident in the normal course of work. Even where the employees voluntarily entered into agreements with the employer to have the damage deducted from the paycheck, it was nevertheless determined to be illegal.

If you are having issues with wage deductions and you'd like to discuss, contact me.

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