Work, whether satisfactory or not, must be awarded compensation. Wage deductions are extraordinary,
and are prohibited unless:
- A court has ordered or allowed the employer to make the deduction.
Examples include court ordered wage garnishments and orders to pay child support.
- The Commissioner of the Maryland Division of Labor and Industry has allowed
the deduction to offset or "pay for" something of value
the employee has received. Examples include long distance telephone
calls on the employer's business phone, personal loans, wage advances, etc.
- Allowed by some law or regulation of the government. Examples include
state and federal taxes.
- The employee has given express written authorization to the employer
to make the deduction. This should take the form of a separate
and distinct statement, signed by the employee,
concerning only the deduction and nothing more. Even with a proper
authorization, however, employers must still pay at least the
federal minimum wage in the case of a deduction made to offset
a loss to the employer due to the admitted or court determined
fault or negligence of an employee (for example, careless damage
to the employer's truck). If the deduction is made to offset something
the employee received or retained from the employer which had
monetary value (for example, personal loan, use of long-distance
telephone line, materials, etc.), the deduction may, in that case,
reduce the employee's wages below the minimum wage. Finally, an
authorized deduction may be invalid if it violates or is inconsistent
with other federal or state laws or regulations.