What You Need To Know About Deductions 

The law has specific guidelines when employers can withhold employees’ wages. First, the employer can impose deductions on an employee’s wages when he is allowed by the state or federal law. The second option where the employer can have deductions is where the employee expressly directs the employer to do so in writing.

The reasons behind the employee allowing the deductions can be to cater for insurance premiums, contribution to other deductions among other reasons. The third reason why the employee can request for deduction is when the employer deducts the wages in order to cover for health and welfare reasons.

The ability of the employer to deduct employees’ wages based on breakages or loss of equipment is clearly regulated in law.


Some of the unlawful deductions which can be made by an employer include the following:



An employer cannot receive gratuity under the law. If the employer is deducting from you, then you can sue them for violation of the law.


If the employer will require your photography in the workplace, you are not the one to pay for the photograph. The law in labor code section 401 prohibits such deductions.

If the employer will require a bond of an employee, then the employer will be required to pay for the costs related to the bond under Labor Code Section 401.


If an employer will require the employee to wear uniforms, then the employer should pay for the uniforms. It is stipulated under Labor Code Section 2802. The term uniforms can refer to wearing apparel of distinctive color.

Business Expenses

If an employee incurs expenses, then he is entitled to a full refund by the employer. The Labor Code Section 2802 stipulates all the expenses the employee can be reimbursed.

Medical or Physical Examinations

The employer is not allowed to withhold any salary or wages of an employee due to fees arising due to pre-employment examinations. The Labor Code Section 222.5 states clearly the rights of employees and employers in regard to the examination carried out before employment begins.


FAQ’s About Deductions in the Workplace

Is an employer allowed to make deduction by law?

Yes, the law allows the employer to deduct your salary under your personal or the federal law provisions.

Can an employer pay for breakables?

No, the law in the state of California leaves the breakages under the employer to cater for them. It is assumed that the breakables are among other losses are inevitable in a business operation hence the employer should plan for them.