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Permitted and Prohibited Pay Deductions by State

Author: Alice Gilman

Employers must comply with both federal and state wage payment laws, as anything not regulated by federal law is left to state regulation. Because the basic federal law related to wage payments, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is very general, an employer must comply with any state wage payment law that is stricter than the FLSA.

For example, the FLSA allows an employer to deduct the cost of a uniform from an employee's pay; but if state law prohibits a similar deduction, the employer must follow the state law and not make the deduction.

The following chart summarizes each state's law regarding the types of pay deductions employers are permitted, or not permitted, to make and the penalties that apply if an employer fails to comply with the law.

Columns marked with "N/A" signify either that the particular state's law regarding pay deductions does not address the issue or that the state does not have an applicable pay deduction law at all.

Due to its large size, this chart is presented in a pop-up overlay. To view the chart in full size, simply click anywhere on the thumbnail image below. Then navigate the chart by clicking and dragging. To close the chart, click on the "X" in the upper-right hand corner.