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California law strictly regulates an employer's ability to deduct from employee wages and permits deductions only in limited circumstances as provided by statute. An employee mistake will NOT constitute a legitimate basis for wage deduction unless the mistake is the result of "gross negligence." An example of "gross negligence" would be crashing a company car while drinking, or burning paper inside and starting an office fire. The breach of care needs to be so substantial as to be wreckless.
What you describe certainly does not rise to that level, if it can even be regarded as negligent at all. Thus, your employer's deduction from your wages would typically be unlawful. Correspondingly, any retaliation you experience as a result of complaining about the unlawful deduction would also be unlawful.
An employee in your circumstance can file a wage claim with the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement to recoup the deducted wages, as well as any damages you incurred as a result of employer retaliation. However, refusal of an advance would not be a recoverable "damage."
To file a wage claim with the DLSE, visit this link: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/howtofilewageclaim.htm
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Labor Code 221 governs permissible deduction:
"It shall be unlawful for any employer to collect or receive from an employee any part of wages theretofore paid by said employer to said employee."