Can My Texas Employer Make Me Pay for a Mistake? By Dan Atkerson on October 08, 2021

a bartender pouring a beerMistakes can happen in any profession, but when mistakes result in property damage or other financial costs some employers may threaten to deduct from their employee’s pay. Employment attorney Dan A. Atkerson provides representation for employees who have faced workplace injustices and can help hold employers responsible for their actions.  

Whether or not an employer can make an employee pay for a mistake depends on state laws. With that said, you may be asking yourself, “can my Texas employer make me pay for a mistake?” For our clients in Allen, TX, Plano, TX, Frisco, TX, and surrounding areas, whether or not their employer can deduct their pay depends on several factors. Let’s look at these factors and what it might mean for you. 

Types of Mistakes an Employer May Try to Recover Payment For

Employers may try to recover payment for mistakes that cost them and their business money. Some common mistakes employers may try to make employees pay for include:

  • Register cash shortages
  • Merchandise shortages
  • Accepting a bad check
  • Losing equipment
  • Breaking or damaging equipment

Can Employers Deduct Money For Mistakes?

The answer to this question isn’t a simple yes or no. In reality, the answer can vary based on the employee and situation.

In the state of Texas, employers can make an employee pay for mistakes but only if the employee previously agreed in writing to allow deductions for mistakes to be taken from their paycheck. 

Without prior written consent, an employer cannot make an employee pay for mistakes.  

What Does State Law Say? 

As described by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the Texas Pay Day Law is a state law that allows an employer to make court ordered deductions, such as child support payments or wage garnishments, or authorized by state and federal laws without the employee’s consent. 

However, the law makes an important distinction that all other deductions must be agreed to by the employee in writing. Without a written agreement, an employer cannot make their employee pay for a mistake. 

What Does Federal Law Say? 

When it comes to federal law, the U.S. Department of Labor states that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) allows deductions for cash or merchandise shortages provided that the deductions do not lower the employee’s pay below the federal minimum wage. 

With both the Texas Pay Day Law and FSLA in mind, if an employee in Texas signed a prior agreement to allow deductions for mistakes to be taken from their paycheck, the employer can do so as long as the employee’s pay does not fall below the federal minimum wage.  

Speak with an Employment Attorney

If your employer is making you pay for mistakes, it’s important to speak to an employment attorney to make sure your hard earned money isn’t being wrongfully taken from you. To schedule a consultation with employment attorney Dan A. Atkerson, please call (214) 383-3606.

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Dan Atkerson

Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Dan A. Atkerson has been protecting the rights of North Texas employees for over nearly four decades. He is affiliated with several prestigious legal organizations, including: 

  • United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Texas Supreme Court and all Texas trial and appellate courts 
  • Texas federal courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Dallas Bar Association 

Through aggressive, knowledgeable representation, he has helped clients all over the state reach significant verdicts and settlements. To schedule your free consultation at our law firm, request an appointment online or call us at (214) 383-3606.

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