In 2012, the New York State legislature amended section 193 of the New York Labor Law, which governs unlawful deductions from pay. One year later, the New York State Department of Labor has issued guidance on the revised unlawful wage deduction statute by issuing final regulations clarifying the scope of permissible wage deductions.
Under the final regulations, an employer is only permitted to take deductions to recover wage advances, overpayments, for the benefit of the employee, or as otherwise permitted under law. The regulations impose limitations and strict requirements for taking such deductions, which, among other things, must be authorized in writing by the employee.
Section 193 of the New York Labor Law is intended to prevent employers from engaging in “self-help” measures to recover what are essentially costs of doing business.
Although the revised section 193 and final regulations have expanded the scope of permissible deductions, they also impose strict protections to avoid abuse. Employers and employees should review the final regulations in order to ensure compliance with the law.