Final Paycheck Deductions for Unreturned Property
If you quit or are fired from your job and still have property that belongs to your employer, it is a good idea to return it. In some circumstances, you may end up paying for that property.
Federal law allows your employer to make paycheck deductions for any unreturned property. The only requirement is that these deductions do not reduce your pay below the federal minimum wage.
In addition, federal law does not require employers to give employees their final paycheck immediately. This can allow your employer to withhold your final paycheck until you return their property.
However, either making a paycheck deduction or withholding your final paycheck may violate the laws of the state where you live. Many states have laws restricting or prohibiting paycheck deductions. Also, most states specify when your final paycheck is due by. A list of these requirements can be found on the Department of Labor's (DOL) website.
Bear in mind that even if your state prohibits paycheck deductions, your employer is still entitled to its property. If you do not return that property promptly, you can be sued.
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Last Modified: 09-29-2011 11:26 AM PDT
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