An employer can only deduct or withhold wages from a worker’s paycheck under limited circumstances: (1) to comply with state or federal law; (2) when the worker agrees in advance to the deduction for his or her own benefit and not the benefit of the employer; and (3) to pay medical, surgical, or hospital costs for the employee. The employer can never benefit financially from any of these deductions.
A worker can recover twice the amount of the deduction plus attorneys’ fees if (1) the deduction was not an accident, (2) there was not a genuine dispute that the worker was employed by the employer, (3) there was not a genuine dispute that the worker earned the wages due, and (4) there was not a genuine dispute as to whether the deduction fell into one of the three categories described above.
Unscrupulous employers violate this law in two common ways: withholding wages from a worker for the company’s benefit and not paying the worker all the wages owed. For example, when an employer agrees to pay a worker an hourly rate plus commission but doesn’t pay the commissions when earned.
Pechtel Law represents victims of wage theft. If you feel you may be the victim of wage theft, schedule a consultation with Pechtel Law PLLC to discuss your rights and your options.