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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20357
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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My 17 year old son is working this summer for a company that

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My 17 year old son is working this summer for a company that allows him to drive a company pick up. He was involved in an accident and caused damage to the company truck and another vehicle. His boss told him he was responsible to pay the insurance deductible. My son signed initial documents when hired but doe snot remember signing a document that says he agreed to pay for any damage. Is that legal? In addition, he is a minor and neither my husband or I were present to witness anything he signed.

Thank you for the information and your question. What you described is a violation of both Arizona and Federal wage laws. I have provided the text of the Arizona law below. In addition, under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, even if the employer could make deductions for damages because the employee had agreed ahead of time, their wages for a pay period cannot fall below minimum wage.

So, your son can file a wage claim with the Arizona Labor Department and can find out how to do so at:

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.

23-352. Withholding of wages

No employer may withhold or divert any portion of an employee's wages unless one of the following applies:

1. The employer is required or empowered to do so by state or federal law.

2. The employer has prior written authorization from the employee. An employer shall not withhold wages under a written authorization from the employee past the date specified by the employee in a written revocation of the authorization, unless the withholding is to resolve a debt or obligation to the employer or a court orders otherwise.

3. There is a reasonable good faith dispute as to the amount of wages due, including the amount of any counterclaim or any claim of debt, reimbursement, recoupment or set-off asserted by the employer against the employee.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much. Because he is a minor and neither of us were present when he signed this paper I do not feel it is binding, is it? The document he signed was for equipment damage nothing to do with vehicles. I guess he could argue that a company truck is equipment, maybe just a matter of interpretation.


However, he has also violated the minor driving rule under DOL child labor laws. A minor 17 years or younger may not drive more than 2 hours per day and no more than 50 miles per day. My son is doing far more than that and working 12+ hours per day. Is there anything else I need to know? This company is paying him under the table, no taxes, no workers comp insurance and has undocumented workers. My advice to my son was do not converse with this individual or show back to work at this time.

Thank you for your reply. Thank you for providing me with the whole picture. That is completely different. Your son should definitely file a wage claim with the State or the entire amount he was owed and also consider reporting this employer to the IRS and State tax authorities. He is violating wage laws, child labor laws, workers compensation laws, and tax laws. As for the agreement, it will not be enforceable, but over and above that, since the employer was violating all the other laws, it is not enforceable.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You experience and knowledge is valued and I greatly appreciate the plan. I am a Risk Manager and have some knowledge but I am smart enough to get legal advice when necessary. Thank you again Marsha.

You're very welcome and best of luck to you and your son. If you could take a moment to leave a positive rating, then I will get credit for assisting you. Please feel free to come back and ask any more questions that you might have on this issue.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Absolutely Marsha. A more than positive review. Sometime one needs to just know that their thought process is on the right track. I don't like to fight all my sons battles but this one he is being taken advantage of and that does not sit well with his father and I.

Again thank you.


You're very welcome.
Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and thank you for your business, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed in the future. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you and all went very well. I crafted an email to the business owner explaining the illegality of his work practices and told him to pay our son for everything that was owed to him and absolve him and his us of any responsibility for the accident, monetarily or otherwise and that our son would not be coming back to work for him. We gave him a deadline to respond and he sent a courier yesterday with the required payment and letter. Thank you for your assistance.

Very good news indeed. Thank you for taking the time to update me. Best of luck to you and your son.