Situations when an employer cannot withhold wages in Kentucky

| Dec 31, 2020 | Employment Law

Kentucky employees are often vulnerable to employers who seek to take advantage of them by finding questionable ways to withhold wages. While this might seem to be an issue in blue collar jobs where people who are not paid a significant amount of money, it can happen in any kind of job. This can present many challenges and leave an employee wondering what can be done to ensure the wages are paid as they are required by law and they do not face repercussions for complaining and asking for what they are owed. Understanding when an employer cannot withhold wages is the first step to determining how to proceed.

When employers cannot deduct wages from an employee’s pay

Employers cannot deduct wages from an employee by fining the employee for a transgression committed on the job or for perceived wrongdoing. If there is a cash box, cash register or till and there is money missing from it, the employer cannot take wages away from an employee if it has been used by at least two people. Items that have been broken in the establishment will not warrant taking money out of the worker’s pay.

When customers pay by check and the check bounces, that is not the responsibility of the employee if the employee has been given discretion to deal with checks and accept or reject them. There cannot be wage penalties for that. If the employer is subjected to loss because of stolen property, lost property, property damage, customer default or poor workmanship and the employee did not willfully commit the act or take part in it, wages cannot be removed from the employee’s pay.

Fighting illegal wage deduction might require legal assistance

An employer who has suffered some form of financial loss or had issues with the products or services that are being provided might try to recover some of that loss by blaming employees and deducting wages from his or her pay. There are some cases in which this is allowable and they will be discussed at another time. If employers use the above reasons, it is illegal and workers have the right to complain and get what they are owed. A firm experienced with wage and hour claims may be able to assist with a case.