Deductions from your Wages
Authored By: Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.
Basic information about deductions from your paycheck.
If you think your employer is illegally deducting from your wages, you should talk with an attorney or the Department of Labor.
U.S. Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division contacts for Oklahoma are here:
What is a "deduction"?
A deduction is money that your employer takes out of your wages. The law limit what types of deductions and how much your employer may deduct.
What deductions can my employer take out of my paycheck?
Your employer must deduct some items from your wages. These include payroll taxes and, in some cases, child support. Your employer must deduct these even if this would make your wages less than the minimum wage.
Your employer can never deduct some items if this would make your wages less than the minimum wage. For example, the cost of uniforms cannot be deducted if your wages would be less than the minimum wage.
You employer can deduct some items, such as meals and housing. Your employer can deduct these even if this would make your wages less than the minimum wage, but there are some limitations.
- You must actually receive the meals and housing. Your employer cannot deduct the cost of items he does not give you.
- Your employer cannot deduct the cost of these items if you did not agree to the deductions. You and your employer must both sign a written agreement.
- Your employer cannot make a profit the items. Your employer can deduct only what it actually cost him to provide the items. Neither can someone associated with your employer make a profit.
- The item must be mainly for your benefit. If the item is mainly for your employer's benefit, then the deduction cannot make your wages less than the minimum wage. For example, a tool that you use only at work is an item that mainly benefits your employer.
Can my employer take deductions without my consent?
For some items, your employer can take deductions without your consent. These are items like payroll taxes and child support.
For other items, you must sign a written agreement before your employer can deduct them. These are items like meals and housing.
There may be other restrictions on what, when, and how much your employer can deduct.
For more information about deductions