Miscellaneous FLSA Deduction Problems

Some common types of deductions made by employers will violate the FLSA if they take an employee's pay below minimum wage, such as deductions to cover the cost of tools, safety equipment, and uniforms that do not fall within the definition of "facilities"; disciplinary deductions (such as "fines" for tardiness, rule violations, or poor work); deductions to cover the cost of items lost or damaged by the employee (see 29 C.F.R. 778.304, 778.306, and 778.307); and deductions to cover ordinary cash register shortages not caused by some type of misappropriation (see the discussion on the Mayhue's case above).

Sometimes the question arises whether different rules apply in the case of minors, or child labor. Although the FLSA does provide certain limitations on the hours and duties of workers younger than age 18, and although a sub-minimum "training wage" is allowed under restricted circumstances for workers age 19 or younger, the above rules for deductions from pay apply to all employees, regardless of age.

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