On October 9, 2013, the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) issued final regulations that govern employers’ implementation of the amendment to the New York Labor Law (NYLL), expanding an employer’s ability to make deductions from employee wages.
Section 193 of the NYLL prohibits employers from making deductions from employees’ wages with certain exceptions. The amendment to Section 193, enacted in September 2012, lists additional exceptions to that rule that were previously deemed unacceptable by the DOL. The additional deductions employers are now permitted to take from paychecks, with the written consent of the employee, include: gym membership dues; day care expenses; tuition and fees for educational institutions; passes for mass transit or parking; donations for events sponsored by charitable organizations; and cafeteria, vending machine and pharmacy purchases made at the employer’s place of business. The final rules establish the procedures that must be followed when taking these deductions.
Perhaps most notably, the amendment also permits deductions to paychecks to recoup overpayments of wages due to clerical or mathematical errors, and for repayment of advanced wages. The recently issued regulations outline specific procedures and time frames that must be followed to take advantage of this amendment. Be sure to confer with an employment law professional before implementing the new deductions for expenses and overpayments.