Odessa, TX – All workers are used to things like taxes and social security being taken from their pay. However, there are also limits on what a workplace can take out of a check without violating laws related to wage theft. A review of these issues is helpful for workers to determine if their employer may be illegally withholding wages and income. 

Deductions of work related expenses

Federal law regulates what can be taken out of a worker’s check that is counted as a work expense. Generally speaking, if any of these deductions cause the person to make less than minimum wage, then they cannot be deducted. States can make more restrictive rules regarding what can be subtracted, but Texas follows the standards in the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

When a worker receives food, lodgings, and other accommodations during their work hours or as part of travel expenses for their employment, these can be deducted. 

Tip credits can be taken out of pay for workers who make most of their wages through tips. However, a tipped worker still needs to make at least minimum wage. 

Employers can make deductions for advance pay and loans given to workers. However, Texas state law requires that any of these matters be formalized in writing. Similar rules govern union dues in Texas, where the worker needs to give a written authorization to have union dues taken from their pay. Certain kinds of insurance and benefits can be deducted as well, provided the employer is actually participating in these programs. 

Things like uniforms, tools, and work supplies can be taken out of a paycheck in most circumstances, however this also cannot violate minimum wage laws. 

Specific deductions can become complex, especially if they are not directly listed in the state or federal laws. A labor attorney should review these deductions to see if they are legal or not. 

Wage theft

There are a number of ways that employers may try to illegally deduct things not allowed by law, or use legitimate deductions as a pretext for taking money away from workers illegally. Any worker who is concerned about their pay statements or deductions listed on pay stubs should review the situation with their company’s payroll or human resources department. If the employee cannot resolve the issue or receive a satisfactory answer, they may want to contact an attorney to review their pay and any related documentation for errors or illegal deductions. 

Texas law firms that help workers

Moore and Associates is a labor and employment firm that assists clients with their lawsuits in the Odessa area. They are available to meet with local clients in Texas to discuss their situation and advise whether a lawsuit against their employer is necessary. 

Firm contact info:

Moore & Associates

440 Louisiana Street, Suite 675, Houston, TX 77002

713-222-6775

www.mooreandassociates.net

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