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deduction of wages for vehicle damage!!! North Carolina

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  • deduction of wages for vehicle damage!!! North Carolina

    My job requires the constant use of a company vehicle to perform my job. Recently i experienced having a flat tire on my company vehicle. With the aid of a co-worker we proceeded to change the tire with a spare. After changing the tire, we proceeded to drive and noticed a loud screeching sound coming from the area of the wheel. We notified our employer immediately of the situation not knowing what was causing the sound and he then proceeded to tell us to find the nearest convenient store and put more air in the tire. (like that was gonna solve our dillemma now) Anyways... we assessed that we should not be driving this vehicle any further and notified our employer and had the vehicle towed. Well over a week later almost two weeks, my employer informs me that there was over $1200 in damages done to the vehicle and that it was due to PUTTING THE TIRE ON BACKWARDS! Are you kidding me? Backwards? I know for a fact that the tire was not on backwards, and I'm not sure if that is even possible to do. Anyways... my employer informs me that I am partially responsible and owe the company $600 and that it will be deducted from my paycheck. Is this legal, especially when I know that I am not at fault and that the tire was ON THE RIGHT WAY?

  • #2
    Such a deduction is not allowed without your written authorization. See Section 95-25.8 on page 7 of the document (page 13 in PDF format) here:
    http://www.dol.state.nc.us/wh/wh_act_packet09_06.pdf
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      so... is it safe to say that any deduction for this incident would be illegal on their part? I also found this article which specifically references North Carolina http://www.fleet-central.com/AF/t_pr...ck&storyID=803

      and also.... what type of action should i take if my employer goes thru with making the deduction?
      Last edited by 30pack; 12-02-2006, 02:20 PM.

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      • #4
        The link you posted is an article and is the writer's opinion. The link I posted is the state law and it is not opinion. If the employer makes the deduction, you can immediately file a complaint regarding the illegal deduction with the state Dept. of Labor.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          While it's true that a payroll deduction is not a valid and legal option, the employer may still hold you responsible for damage to the company vehicle. He could remand to a collection agency or file a civil complaint in small claims court. I agree the absence of a written authorization is to the boss' detriment; but these options do exist. I didn't want you to be surprised should the boss pursue other options when he realizes he may not deduct from your pay without prior written consent.

          Also it's not uncommon prior to releasing company equipment/vehicles to staff that a release form is signed. Did the boss have you sign such a form before you were permitted to drive the company vehicle? If yes, the agreement may have awarded permission to deduct from your pay for damages. This may be worthwhile to investigate.

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