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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38901
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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To whom this may concern, I was wondering if my scenario

Customer Question

To whom this may concern,

I was wondering if my scenario would be an unlawful deduction per Labor Code Section 224.

On January 7, 2013, we were trained on using the company's new timecard system to enter our pay stub. The trainer from Human Resources trained us and she said when we enter our time worked into the system, we do not need to enter our lunch time; the timecard system will automatically deduct 30 minutes from our time worked.

On March 6, 2013, my supervisor discovered that the 30 minute lunch break was not deducted from our pay stubs on January and February 2013. The supervisor concluded that our upcoming pay checks will need to be deducted.

Will this be a unlawful deduction of my pay check per Labor Code Section 224?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 4 years ago.


It's actually Labor Code 221 that prohibits employers from deducting any amount from an employee's wages that is not for the employee's benefit. The employer may not engage in "self-help" by making deductions from an employee's pay without the employee's express written consent. See DLSE Opinion Letter 2008.11.25-1.


If your employer makes this deduction without your consent, you can complain to the DLSE. Note, however, that your damages may be minimal, so the exercise of complaining may be a legal action without much of a financial return.

Hope this helps.

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