What Can Be Deducted from My Paycheck?

Employee Rights File

Learn More About State And Federal Paycheck Deductions

The difference between your earned salary and the amount you take home differs greatly. It’s important that you’re aware of what your employer can legally deduct from your paycheck. An employer may only deduct expenses that adhere to federal and state laws such as health insurance premiums, income withholding taxes, and any selected retirement deductions.  In California, employment laws prohibit employers from deducting the following from your paycheck:

  • Business expenses. If you spend your personal money on a work-related expense, you must be reimbursed by your employer. These expenses may include parking and toll costs while driving a company vehicle, other travel expenses, and business meals.
  • Equipment, tools and uniforms. Employers must provide the proper equipment to do your job. If you’re required to purchase any items, you must be reimbursed. This may include any tools, uniforms, or other items required to do your job.
  • Some jobs require a specific license. Often in the service industry, food and beverage licenses are required. Similarly, if there are any other types of training, medical exams, or tests, the employer must pay for the costs.
  • Broken items and cash shortages. If you have broken any supplies or equipment while doing your job, your employer cannot deduct the value of the broken item. In addition, an employer cannot deduct any money from your check due to a cash register shortage. These expenses should be considered as a part of running a business.

Lastly, if you have received an advance on your paycheck from your employer, it’s important that you have a signed agreement on how much your employer may deduct each month. Your employer may not deduct a “balloon payment” from your check for any remaining amount owed. They must stick with the agreed plan of payment.

Questions About Paycheck Deductions?

If you have questions about deductions being made to your paycheck, you should contact an employment law attorney. The experienced employment lawyers at Arata, Swingle, Van Egmond & Goodwin can offer their legal guidance to help you navigate questions you have about employment laws. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.