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Can Employer Deduct Register Shortage Alabama

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  • Can Employer Deduct Register Shortage Alabama

    I work for a small family owned restaraunt and one of the waitresses had a cash shortage on her register and also had some customers to walk out without paying. The owner took 60 dollars out of her paycheck for this. Is this legal? The poor girl was left with only 15 dollars for a weeks work. Also, the owner is constantly threatening to fire us and has been seen twice drawing back as if to strike the cook and calling her a curse word. Is there anything we can do to make this a better work environment? I really need this job but the lady is driving me insane and is mistreating other workers. Thanks for any answers.

  • #2
    Alabama is not my state, so I will have to defer that to someone else. I can give you the federal rules on deductions from wages. It is not legally possible under the federal rules to reduce wages below minimum wages under the circumstances you describe. Assuming this is a tipped employee, then things get more complicated, but the federal rule is still an impediment to the action you describe.
    http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs16.pdf

    Threatening to fire people and cursing them is generally legal. It could be done in an illegal manner but these actions are not inherently illegal by themselves. If an illegal action occurred, it would be extremely detail specific and have occurred in the context of some very specific law such as Title VII. Being a jerk per se is not illegal. Being a jerk in such a way that sexual harassment or racial discrimination occurs could be illegal.

    Hitting someone is criminally illegal. Should it occur, call the police.

    Solutions for a better workplace? Finding another employer or unionizing are the two obvious choices. But in my experience a bad boss is a bad boss. And when the bad boss is the owner there are few viable options other then those I mentioned. Filing a wage claim to get back illegal deductions is worth doing, but this (or any other action) will in no way make the boss a better person.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Thank you for your response and the link.

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      • #4
        Alabama has no law on paycheck deductions - refer to federal rules.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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