How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Brandon, Esq. Your Own Question
Brandon, Esq.
Brandon, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1951
Experience:  Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
69271599
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
Brandon, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a small business owner, and as part of our employment

This answer was rated:

I am a small business owner, and as part of our employment process, we do background checks on our employees. Our employment agreement with them, which they all sign, states that if they voluntarily or involuntarily leave our company within 90 days of signing the agreement, we are authorized to deduct the cost of the background check (approximately $75) from their final paycheck. We have three employees who are due to be paid today, and the question I have is whether I am able to deduct that charge from their paycheck.

Employment-LawExpert :

Hello and thank you for your question today.

Employment-LawExpert :

Are you online with me?

Employment-LawExpert :

Welcome to the chat


 

Employment-LawExpert :

I just want to make sure that you are in California before I give you the answer to your question.

Customer:

Yes, hello

Customer:

Yes, I am in CA

Employment-LawExpert :

Legally, you are not allowed to deduct that charge from their paycheck. More about this can be found in Labor Code Section 2802.

Employment-LawExpert :

The DLSE also has a website which outlines the exact requirements for what you may or may not deduct.

Customer:

Even though they signed our agreement which specifically authorizes us to do so?

Employment-LawExpert :

If you give me a moment, I will find you the link.

Employment-LawExpert :

Correct

Employment-LawExpert :

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_deductions.htm

Employment-LawExpert :

This kind of a charge would be considered a business expense, which as you can see, any deduction for this expense would be deemed unlawful.

Employment-LawExpert :

This would result in payment to the employee of the amount, as well as a waiting time penalty levied against you.

Employment-LawExpert :

I realize that this is not what you wanted to hear, and you may even have friends in the industry who do the same thing to their employees. But it does not make the action lawful.

Employment-LawExpert :

And it would be unprofessional of me, and unfair to you, to provide you with anything less than the truth.

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX I wanted to check before doing it. In other states, it appears that this clause can be enforced, but it seems that CA has already regulated against this. I appreciate your honesty. The last thing I want is a ruling against us. In the future, I'm going to have the employees pay for their background checks up front and then I'll reimburse them when they stay with us for 30 days or more.

Employment-LawExpert :

That would definitely work. Have I fully answered your question today? Please do not hesitate to ask any follow up questions you may have.

Customer:

I think that's all. Thank you for your help.

Brandon, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related California Employment Law Questions