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Collecting for damaged equipment

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in Human Resources

Q. We recently terminated an employee and subsequently learned that he damaged company equipment through his own negligence. My boss wants to deduct the cost to repair the damage from his final paycheck. Is this legal?

A. No, this practice would violate the New York Labor Law, which states, among other things, that deductions from wages are permissible only when required by law or authorized in writing by the employee and for the employee’s benefit. Most states have similar provisions regarding deductions from wages. Check those, too, if you do business in other states.

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