Improper Pay Deductions and Unreimbursed Expenses

Employers can violate federal or state law by making improper deductions from an employee’s paycheck of items which are primarily for the benefit or convenience of the employer. For example, federal law prohibits employers from deducting (or requiring employees to pay for) uniform costs if the deduction causes the employee to be paid less than minimum wage or cuts into required overtime pay. Employers also cannot deduct from minimum wages and overtime pay amounts for customers not paying bills, cash register shortages or shrinkage, or broken supplies. In some states, it is illegal to fail to reimburse employees for business-related expenses such as mileage or cellular phone use.

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