“Paycheck deduction” means sums of money that your employer removes or “deducts” from your paycheck. You already know about some items your employer deducts from your pay, like federal taxes. But are there any other items your employer can deduct from your pay? What protections against paycheck deductions does Georgia have? This blog will explain all of this, so please keep reading. If you have a concern about deductions your employer has taken from your paycheck, be sure to call an Atlanta wage and hour law attorney today.
Can My Employer Deduct Money from My Pay?
In Georgia, your employer can deduct several items from your pay. Some examples include uniforms, particularly if these are specific to your workplace, tools, meals, and lodging. However, if something is for your employer’s benefit (not your benefit) then your employer will need your consent before they charge and provide you with the good or service.
There are limits on what your employer can deduct. Your employer can only take deductions which are authorized under the law or which you yourself voluntarily authorized for your own benefit.
These are examples of deductions permitted by federal and state law:
- Housing and transportation
- Debts you owe to your employerDebts you owe to third parties (which would then be garnished)
Debts you owe to the government
- t (such as back taxes or child support)
When you’ve agreed to let your employer deduct items for your benefit, your employer is then allowed to do so. Your employer will still be allowed to do so, even if it would result in your pay falling below minimum wage.
But there are also limits on what your employer can deduct even if you’ve authorized them to do so. For instance, your employer can’t deduct an item for their benefit if they would lower your pay below minimum wage.
Items considered by courts to be for the benefit and convenience of the employer include:
- Uniforms that are only worn at the workplace
- Tools used during your work
- Compensation for company profit losses
- Reimbursement for things you stole from or damaged in the workplace
Your employer is furthermore not allowed to deduct more than 50% of your one-time salary payment. Nor can your employer fine you under company policy if they don’t first establish your culpability for being fined.
Finally, deducting items from your pay, your employer can apply the deduction to hours you worked before they made the change, and not to hours you had worked previously.