In Minnesota, multiple statutes protect employees from unlawful wage deductions. Our experienced employment attorneys have helped many employees recover lost wages owed to them.
The Minnesota Payment of Wages Act prohibits deductions by employers from the wages of employees without prior written authorization. Additionally, the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits wage deductions by employers if such deductions drop an employee’s wages below minimum wage. Common deductions that when subtracted from wages could reduce the wages below minimum wage include:
- purchased or rented uniforms or specially designed clothing required by the employer, by the nature of the employment, or by statute as a condition of employment, which is not generally appropriate for use except in that employment;
- purchased or rented equipment used in employment, except tools of a trade, a motor vehicle, or any other equipment which may be used outside the employment;
- consumable supplies required in the course of that employment;
- deductions for medical or physical exams; and
- travel expenses in the course of employment except those incurred in traveling to and from the employee's residence and place of employment.
What damages can I recover for unlawful wage deductions?
When an employer has made unlawful deductions from employees’ paychecks, those employees may be entitled to both wage deduction damages and liquidated damages. Additionally, employees may be entitled to attorney fees and costs.
In many states it is illegal for businesses to take deductions from their employees' wages. However, an employer can often only withhold amounts from your wages when:
- required or authorized to do so by state or federal law;
- a deduction is authorized in writing by the employee to cover insurance premiums, benefit plan contributions or other deductions; and
- a deduction to cover health, welfare, or pension contributions is expressly authorized by a wage or collective bargaining agreement.
Contact Our Minnesota Employment Lawyers
If you believe your employer has deducted wages without your permission, we want to hear from you. The employment lawyers at Baillon Thome Jozwiak & Wanta LLP are dedicated to protecting the wage and hour rights of Minnesota employees and provide a free initial consultation. Contact us to discuss your rights.