Q. We require employees to wear uniforms. Can we deduct from their paychecks the money to pay for the uniform or clean it? —L.B., Massachusetts

A. You can, but with caution. Under federal law, the payroll deductions—whether for the uniform cost, cleaning or both—can't reduce employees' wages below the minimum wage. Similarly, the deductions also can't reduce the amount of overtime pay due to employees in any workweek. Employers should, however, check their state law, too. Some states require employers to foot the bill for uniforms.

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