Paycheck Deductions in New York
It may seem like your hourly rate or salary is small enough. Then you see your paycheck and it’s even less. You may be paying for taxes as well as health insurance, gym memberships and other benefits. These deductions could be reducing your pay by hundreds of dollars per paycheck. This often makes it difficult to get by.
Paycheck deductions are pretty much a fact of life unless you are self-employed. You may be wondering what deductions are coming out of your paycheck and whether or not they are legal.
Can an employer deduct wages without consent?
This is a common concern, especially since many employers—particularly sole proprietors and small businesses—look for ways to avoid paying employees the full amount they are owed. They may take out unnecessary deductions for random things.
There are wages employers can deduct, but they have to be done with your consent. Read on to learn more about legal paycheck deductions in New York.
Deductions From Wages
There are four types of deductions that employers can legally deduct from paychecks:
- Deductions made in accordance with law, such as taxes. This included federal income taxes, state taxes, local income tax (in some areas), Medicare tax withholding and Social Security taxes.
- Employee benefits that are authorized in writing. These include health insurance premiums, donations to charity, parking fees, gym memberships dues, U.S. bonds, labor union dues, cafeteria payments, tuition, daycare and pharmacy purchases.
- Overpayment of wages
- Repayment of wages for an advance in salary given to an employee
Deductions such as taxes have to be made whether or not you authorize them. This is because these deductions are required by law and your employer can be penalized if taxes are not taken from your paycheck. Deductions for overpayments and repayments must be made in accordance with the law. Employee benefits must be authorized by you before they can be taken from your paycheck. If you did not authorize them, the employer cannot deduct them, by law.
What Cannot Be Deducted?
Employers generally cannot make deductions for items that are for the benefit of the employer. Such illegal deductions would include required uniforms, tools used for the work, compensation for theft or damage caused by other employees and compensation for financial losses caused by clients. If an employee has quit or been fired and does not return equipment, the cost of the equipment cannot be deducted from the payment. The employer can, however, bill the employee for the value of the equipment or take the employee to small claims court for reimbursement.
Contact a New York Wage Lawyer
If your paycheck seems unusually small, your employer may be making deductions that you did not consent to. Take a look at your paycheck and contact your employer with any concerns.
If the issue has not been resolved, seek legal help. Your employer may be violating hour and wage laws. The experienced New York wage lawyers at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. can assess your case. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling (347) 464-8694.