Illegal Deductions | NY Wage & Hour Attorneys | BKL Lawyers

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You work hard for your wages. But when your employer makes illegal deductions from your paycheck, you deserve compensation and justice. In New York City, your employer can only take wage deductions under certain situations, like health care premiums and weekly tax deductions.

If you have been subjected to illegal deductions, know that the New York employee rights lawyers of Brown Kwon & Lam are here for you.

New York City Illegal Wage Deductions

In New York, your employer cannot take illegal deductions from your pay. These may include:

  • Breakages
  • Shortage of cash
  • Fines
  • Business loss
  • Deductions not listed in Section 193 of the Labor Law
  • Charges for check replacement
  • Overcharges for paid family leave
  • Deduction of pay for breaks not taken

In addition to these illegal deductions, your employer cannot deduct the cost of your uniform from your pay if in doing so, it brings you below minimum wage. If your uniform requires specific cleaning and alterations, the employer must also provide you with such services if the charge of it would bring you below minimum wage.

What is considered a legal deduction?

To be considered a legal pay deduction, the deduction must be authorized in writing. Even then, it may only be done once the employee has received said written confirmation and has been made aware of the terms and conditions which apply to the deduction.

If there are substantial changes to the amount of the deduction, the employer must notify the employee of the change before it occurs.

Another form of legal deductions is repayment of advances of salary or wages that an employer makes for an employee, as well as recovery of overpaid wages that were a result of an employer’s clerical or mathematical error.

Common deductions your employer may take from your wages include:

  • Insurance premiums
  • Pension or health and welfare benefits
  • Contributions to a charitable organization
  • Dues or assessments to a labor organization
  • Discounted parking or discounted passes to use mass transit
  • Legal plans
  • Fitness center/health club membership
  • Daycare expenses
  • Uniforms (if the cost does not bring you below minimum wage)

The employer is also required to keep copies of the notices on file during the period that the employee works for the employer and six years following the employee’s departure from the company. Remember, just because these types of deductions can be made, you still must consent to them before your employer can take them from your paycheck.

Recovering Compensation After Illegal Deductions

If you believe that you have been subjected to illegal deductions in your pay, you do have legal options to recover those lost wages. In addition to asking your employer for the rationale of the deductions, or proof that it was communicated to you, you have the right to file a complaint with the New York Department of Labor and to consult with a New York wage and hour attorney.

Whatever decision you make, know that you are protected by the law against retaliation by your employer. Should adverse employment actions take place, you have the right to pursue legal action.

Know Your Rights: Illegal Wage Deductions in New York

If you believe your employer has been taking illegal wages from your pay, you need a trusted employment attorney. At Brown Kwon & Lam, we will conduct a thorough investigation of employee payroll records to see if you have been taken advantage of.

Be it unpaid wages or illegal deductions, our team will review your case to ensure you receive compensation for what is rightfully earned. Contact us today.

Illegal Deductions
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