Holbrook, NY asked in Employment Law for New York

Q: Can my boss legally subtract 1 hour worth of work from my paycheck?

I am 16 yrs old and I work for a Franchise my boss threatened to take 1 hour off everyone’s paycheck because we were so busy that we did not have time to fill the sauces. Although we did end up filling them, I think that the Boss cannot really take away and Hour worth of everyone’s paycheck just because a certain task wasn’t fulfilled. Could my boss legally do this? I am wondering because there are a lot of non English speakers and I would like to be able to defend them if it ever comes down to it.

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2 Lawyer Answers
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Tarrytown, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: No employer can make deductions from paychecks unless agreed to in advance by the employee and only for specific reasons such as taxes, insurance, garnishment,...

But he could fire everyone unless your union collective bargaining agreement prevents that. If you don't have a union it might be wiser to contact the National Labor Relations Board for information on how to legally organize. Otherwise you could get yourself fired trying to protect immigrant employees. You have a duty of loyalty to your employer and speaking against your boss is never a good idea even under these types of threats which might be lies. And lying to employees to get them to perform faster is not illegal. Insubordination usually results in denial of unemployment benefits FYI.

Brian Greben
Brian Greben
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Great Neck, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: He could not legally penalize his staff in the manner you described. Taking an hour off staff's pay as punishment would be an unlawful deduction.

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