Legal Question in Employment Law in Pennsylvania

Wage Garnishments due to Cash Shortages

Is it legal for an employer to hold a cashier accountable for any cash shortages by deducting the shortages out of his/her paycheck? If so, are there proper procedures that must be followed in order to deduct the shortages legally? For example, if the cashier has no way of knowing at the end of his/her shift how much money was made during the shift, therefore, not able to verify for himself/herself that a cash shortage exists, can the cashier be made to repay the shortage? When the manager counts the money from the drawer alone in an office and claims a cashier has a shortage, is that also legal to make the cashier repay the shortage?

Asked on 11/21/02, 9:44 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

David L. Bargeron Unemployment Help Center

Re: Wage Garnishments due to Cash Shortages

It is not lawful for an employer to withhold any amount from an employeeís pay not specifically authorized by law or contract. An employer cannot unilaterally deduct from a cashierís paycheck unless that employee agrees to allow the employer to do so, in writing, prior to the deduction.

Violation of this law may subject the employer to penalties under the Wage Payment and Collection Law and possibly other laws. If you are suffering from such acts I urge you to contact a lawyer for help. Many of the applicable laws require the employer to pay a successful employeeís legal fees

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Answered on 11/25/02, 10:31 pm

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