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unvoluntary payroll deduction in Texas

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  • unvoluntary payroll deduction in Texas

    I drive a diesel vehicle at work. I mistakenly put unleaded fuel in. Realizing my mistake, I turned off the motor and had the vehicle towed to my place of work. The employer said I had to pay for the unleaded (which was paid with a company fuel card), pay for the rest of the fuel that was in the vehicle before I added unleaded (about half a tank), and the time for our mechanic to fix it (which entailed draining the fuel lines and changing some filters). The total fuel bill was about $100, the towing bill was about $200, the mechanic makes $12 p/h (the work was done on the weekend so it would have been over time). The company told me the total would be $325 and would be payroll deducted and that they would have a form for me to sign. I have still not seen a form to sign or a list of what I am specifically paying for. They have deducted $400 so far and now say that they made a mistake and the bill will be $600. They still have not produced any form for me to sign and cannot locate an itemized list of what I am paying for. Is this legal? Do I have any recourse? I live in Texas.

  • #2
    They could have let you go but gave you a choice of accepting resposibility or hitting the street.
    I would have asked to pay for it over a few paychecks to ease the financial burden and to show them your a standup kind of person....


    • #3

      I was agreeable with the $325 but now they've upped it to $600 and can't explain where the extra $275 dollars was spent. What if they up it again?


      • #4
        If you have a decent supervisor you should ask them to please give you a breakdown of the bill, tell them you are not contesting it, just want to pay the fair amount and if your finances are tight if you can split it up over a few paychecks.

        As I see it:$200 towing + $100 fuel replacement + (I have worked on diesels) $100 filters + $18 x 8 hours & taxes = $200 approx. mechanic on OT @ $18 (OT rate), already is $600.

        If you like this employer I would think it is worth it, I know $600 is a lot of money but we all know jobs are harder to find than replacement workers.....


        • #5
          Here's the law...

          If you are agreeable to reimbursing the employer for what could be legitimately considered a cost of doing business, the Texas Administrative Code provides guidelines for what constitutes an acceptable form of written authorization for deductions from pay. Chapter 821 of the T.A.C. (aka the Texas Payday Rules), Section 821.28. Deductions:
          (b) Written authorizations for deductions shall be specific as to the lawful purpose for which the employee has accepted the responsibility or liability. Written authorizations shall be:
          (1) sufficient to give the employee a reasonable expectation of the amount to be withheld from pay; and
          (2) a clear indication that the deduction is to be withheld from wages.

          This obviously gives you and the employer a way to structure the deduction, but also requires that the deduction be for a lawful purpose. This could be used to "encourage" the employer to itemize the charges. You would then have the ability to accept or reject the authorization, realizing that rejection would probably result in your termination. Whatever timeframe for repayment is a matter of negotiation between you and the employer. That's your recourse.

          Hold on there! I now see your signature is _emt. If you are an employee of a political subdivision of the State of Texas or the United States (a city, county, governmental ems district, etc.), your employment is not covered by the Texas Payday Law; and by extension, the Payday Rules do not apply. Your recourse may be through your locally established grievance procedure, or the agency rules.


          • #6

            I work for a private service that is not affiliated with any government agencies on any level.


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