Wage Deductions

We have a policy that we have exempt employees sign, basically it states that the company is able to take out wage deductions for purposes of purchased office supplies, phone calls, or stamps. In other words, the employee takes home office supplies and the company deducts the costs from their check same applies to shipping costs, the company ships personal items for them and deducts from their check, etc. I do know that according to FLSA this is not legal for exempt employees, however, if they sign an agreement, would this be legal?


  • 2 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I am assuming based on your screen name that you are in Texas. 

     I am not sure where you are getting the knowledge that this is illegal under FLSA.   Here is a link from the TWC/Texas employer handbook about voluntary wage deductions:

    "Voluntary Wage Assignments    

    Deductions for voluntary wage assignments, i.e., for things that benefit the employee, may take an employee's wages below minimum wage, provided the employer does not profit thereby (includes such things as employee contributions to a health or retirement plan (see 29 C.F.R. 531.40(c)) and FOH, Section 30c10(a)).

    This type of deduction must be authorized in writing by the employee to be valid under the Texas Payday Law." http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/allowable_deductions.html#volwageassign

    And here is the link for deduction problems: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/misc_deductions.html  But note that is discussing non-exempt employees and deductions for the employer's profit....and taking the employee below minimum wage.

  • The best place to find the information is your state's department of labor website.  Below is Maryland law, and yes it is legal in Maryland; but you can find the answer on your states depart of labor website. 

    The employee has given express written authorization to the employer to make the deduction. This should take the form of a separate and distinct statement, signed by the employee, concerning only the deduction and nothing more. Even with a proper authorization, however, employers must still pay at least the federal minimum wage in the case of a deduction made to offset a loss to the employer due to the admitted or court determined fault or negligence of an employee (for example, careless damage to the employer's truck). If the deduction is made to offset something the employee received or retained from the employer which had monetary value (for example, personal loan, use of long-distance telephone line, materials, etc.), the deduction may, in that case, reduce the employee's wages below the minimum wage. Finally, an authorized deduction may be invalid if it violates or is inconsistent with other federal or state laws or regulations.

Sign In or Register to comment.