When you receive your paycheck, you expect to be fully compensated for the hours you worked. While there are some circumstances that permit your employer to legally deduct wages from your check, illegal deductions occur all too often. Information regarding which deductions are legal, and which are illegal, is not often readily available to California workers, and, often, workers may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of fighting for justice alone.  

If you believe your employer violated California’s wage and hours laws, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against them to compensate for your lost wages and other damages. The skilled attorneys at Blackstone Law understand the complexities of California employment law and can help you understand your rights and legal options. When you retain our services, you can have peace of mind that your case is in knowledgeable and experienced hands.  

Can My Employer Make Legal Deductions From My Paycheck? 

California has strict laws surrounding paycheck deductions. There are only a few scenarios when an employer can legally deduct wages from an employee’s paycheck. An employer is only permitted to deduct wages from employees’ checks under the following circumstances: 

  • Deductions that are required by state or federal law, such as income tax and wage garnishments; 
  • Deductions which are expressly authorized in writing by the employee  
  • Deductions to cover employer-provided health insurance premiums, benefit plan contributions or other deductions not amounting to a rebate on the employee’s wages;
  • Deductions expressly authorized in a collective bargaining or wage agreement to cover health, welfare, or pension contributions.

Your employer may also legally deduct wages from your check if you arrive late to work. However, they can only deduct the time you did not work.

Examples of Illegal Paycheck Deductions 

While very few legal paycheck deductions exist, employers often make illegal deductions at their employee’s expense. Under California law, your wages cannot be legally deducted for the following reasons: 

  • The employee negligently broke equipment 
  • The employee’s till had an accidental cash shortage 
  • As a form of discipline on employee 
  • To correct an overpayment on the employee’s previous paycheck 
  • To account for any tips or gratuities earned by the employee 
  • To compensate for a bond required by the application process 
  • To account for any photographs required by the employer 
  • To cover the costs of the employee’s uniform 
  • To reimburse the employer for the employee’s business expenses 
  • To pay for any medical exam or procedure that is a condition of employment 

While the list above covers some of the most common scenarios, it is not exhaustive. If you believe your wages have been illegally deducted, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced employment lawyers.  

Talk to an Award-Winning Employment Lawyer at Blackstone Law 

At Blackstone Law, we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional and compassionate legal service to our clients in California. Our attorneys understand the importance of receiving your entire paycheck and will fight tirelessly for the wages you are owed. Blackstone’s attorneys have dedicated their careers to aggressively fighting for their clients’ rights and interests, and we will work tirelessly to protect your rights. We have a proven track record of achieving favorable outcomes for our clients a because we hold employers and institutions fully accountable for the harm they have caused their employees.  

We take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not get paid until we resolve your case and you are compensated. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at (310) 956-4054 or complete our contact form.