What Are Lawful Deductions From Wages?

There are four types of lawful deductions from wages under both federal and state law:
  • Those that are required by law, such as federal and state taxes, social security, workers' compensation, or garnishment order.
  • Those for which the employee has signed a voluntary authorization; and the deduction is for the benefit of the employee, and is recorded in the employer's books.
  • Those deductions for which the employee has voluntarily signed an authorization provided that the ultimate recipient of the money withheld is not the employer, and that such deduction is recorded in the employer's books.
  • Those deductions authorized by a collective bargaining agreement to which the employer is a party.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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