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Permitted and Prohibited Pay Deductions by State

Author: Alice Gilman

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets general minimum standards in regard to wage payments and deductions. Anything not regulated by the FLSA is left to state regulation. Many state wage payment laws are stricter and provide employees with greater protections than the FLSA.

An employer must comply with any state wage payment law that is stricter than the FLSA. For example, although the FLSA allows an employer to deduct the cost of a uniform from an employee's pay, if the applicable state law prohibits a similar deduction, the employer must follow the state law and not make the deduction.

The following chart summarizes the provisions of each state's wage payment law regarding the types of pay deductions employers are permitted to make and prohibited from making, and the penalties that apply if an employer fails to comply with the law.

Rows or cells are marked with "N/A" if the state does not have an applicable pay deduction law, or if an existing state pay deduction law does not address the particular issue.