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Employment Law/wage decution for employers equipement


The employers a nursing home ask that we do the laundry for the residents. The washer is a household unit and is new but has broke 3 times. They say that because we did not check the pockets of the residents the machine broke again. They have told us they will deduct the repair from our check the next time it brakes. One it was their choice to have us do the laundry and their to buy units that need to go in a home. The machine is not big enough for the amount of laundry we do 24 residents daily. Can they deduct that from our check to repair? I believe the unit will break again should I just let them take the deduction and deal with it then?

Carol - It is illegal to deduct money from the wages of an employee for what are considered business expenses, which a broken washing machine most definitely is.  You may want to mention politely that you have been advised that their plan violates employment laws, and if they persist, call the Labor Department to file a wage claim for any wages you lose due to washing machine repair deductions.

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Margaret M. deMarteleire


I can answer most questions about employment law, federal or state. I am an attorney, not an HR professional, so questions about HR careers, coursework, prospects, etc. are not within my scope.


Attorney for 20 years, currently working exclusively with employment law - FLSA, FMLA, federal contracts, pay, etc.

Temple University School of Liberal Arts, BA, Rhetoric & Communication, 1982 Temple University School of Law, JD, 1990 Certificate in HR, Cornell University ILR School, 2006

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