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Employment Law/Payroll deductions with consent


with an employee's consent, can an employer deduct a petty cash shortage from the employee's paycheck?

Based on the Iowa Department of Labor rules and regulations I would say no this is not legal even with an employees consent.

Here is the website:

Here is the answer :

17. Q. What can be deducted from my wages?

A. Items on the following list can be deducted from wages. For exceptions see Iowa Code Chapter 91A.5.
1. Taxes
2. Garnishments
3. Deductions for any lawful purpose accruing to the benefit of the employee if the employee has given written authorization for the deduction (for example, insurance, 401K, pensions, bonds and savings programs).

Items on the following list cannot be deducted:

1. Cash shortages in common money till
2. Losses due to breakage, damage, acceptance of bad checks, and default of customer credit except in certain limited cases
3. Lost or stolen property unless certain conditions are met
4. Tips
5. Personal protective equipment in most cases
6. Moving costs except in certain cases

I would say that unless a police report is filed or the person is charges with theft and taken to court it cannot be deducted.


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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).


30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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