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New equipment to be deducted from paycheck - Connecticut

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  • New equipment to be deducted from paycheck - Connecticut

    I work as a private investigator in Connecticut. I recently received an email from the company notifying all of the investigators that new cameras have been purchased for us. These cameras will be deducted from our paychecks over two pay periods.

    My question is, can the company do this without giving me any sort of option?

    These cameras are not needed to effectively do the job. The company has reminded us that we will be able to keep the cameras which is irrevelant because if I quit the job, I won't have a use for it anymore.

    Thanks,

    JC

  • #2
    Chances are high this is illegal. At the very least, virtually all States prohibit an employer from making a payroll deduction without the employee's signed authorization. When they take the deduction, you should contact CT's Department of Labor and file a complaint.

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    • #3
      Agreed. This strikes me as illegal as well. And since it is not something that would need to be the same (job uniforms, etc.), I'm uncomfortable on an additional level because I suspect they may be getting kickbacks for these purchases.

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      • #4
        There's no evidence whatsoever to suspect the employer is taking kickbacks, RR. Seems like an incredible stretch to suggest that.

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        • #5
          A stretch based on the information given? Definitely. Not the slightest argument there. And even if that was happening it wouldn’t change what the OP needed to do.

          I just post that because I have a sneaking suspicion. My background is financial and companies generally do not undertake large purchases such as this if there is not some benefit to them. Given the administrative burden and risks/liabilities associated with the process, companies do it out of perceived necessity or if they gain something. It all comes down to the bottom line. Since they could have easily said “go buy your own camera so you can have pictures for evidence”, that would have fixed any issues and would have taken any and all burden away from the company.

          But again, as you said there is no evidence of that. And maybe I’m completely wrong. Maybe this is just bad management. But intuitively, this seems off to my accountant self lol.

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          • #6
            I would think they chose the cameras from software compatibility. If everyone has the same one, just plug them in the computer, and download the contents.

            As to legality, I do not have a clue if the company can require owning specific tools to be employed there. I know that several jobs I have had have done this, but as I have always found tools of my trade are money makers.

            One picture could make the difference in your job between employment or not.

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            • #7
              http://www.cga.ct.gov/2001/pub/Chap5...#sec31-71e.htm

              Sec. 31-71e. Withholding of part of wages. No employer may withhold or divert any portion of an employee's wages unless (1) the employer is required or empowered to do so by state or federal law, or (2) the employer has written authorization from the employee for deductions on a form approved by the commissioner, or (3) the deductions are authorized by the employee, in writing, for medical, surgical or hospital care or service, without financial benefit to the employer and recorded in the employer's wage record book.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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              • #8
                I would think they chose the cameras from software compatibility.
                I have several digital cameras. All you need to do is take out the memory card, connect it to your computer and download. No compatability issues at all. Besides, if there WAS an issue that required a specific camera, all they had to do was inform the employees that they had to buy one by a certain date, allowing the employee to choose who they bought it from and shop for the best price.
                I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

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                • #9
                  I agree with Alice that all you need is the memory card. I would guess it is an issue of people using subpar cameras and thus having poor picture quality to supply to the customers.

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                  • #10
                    Possibly. In that case I still don't understand why they didn't just specify the camera (or a choice of cameras) to be bought or give the minimum requirements for the cameras to be purchased.

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                    • #11
                      Maybe this is just me, but employers behaving in a less then rational manner are quite common in my experience. I would focus less on why the employer thinks something is a good idea (the law does not care) and more on what CT rules on deductions are.
                      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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