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October 08, 2010
Making Employee Pay Deductions For Personal Protection Equipment

Cheryl Orr and Heather Sager discuss employee pay deductions for personal protection equipment (PPE) in a BLR webinar entitled ‘Wage Payments: What You Can and Can’t Legally Deduct from Employees’ Pay’. They provide the following information about making employee pay deductions for PPE.

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  • When the employee has agreed to pay for the PPE but such deductions will bring the employee below the minimum wage, should the employer still make deductions from the employee’s pay?
    • Employers cannot deduct money from employees’ pay for equipment that is necessary for the employees to effectively perform their duties
    • In most circumstances where PPE is involved, hazards are usually present and the employees need such equipment to be safe in a regular course of business
    • Even if an employee agrees to do something that the employer should be asking the employee to do, this does not necessarily mean that the employer should make such requests from the employees

    Cheryl D. Orr, Esq. is a partner and co-chair of the national Labor and Employment Practice Group at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP ( She concentrates her practice on defending employers against FLSA collective actions and state and federal wage and hour class actions, and she regularly litigates discrimination, harassment, and unfair competition claims, conducts high-level workplace investigations, develops plans for reductions in force, and offers employer advice and counseling. Orr frequently lectures on employment law topics.

    Heather M. Sager, Esq. is also a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. Sager focuses her practice on management-side representation in collective and class actions, with particular experience in wage and hour litigation under state and federal law, including representative claims brought under California Business & Professions Code Section 17200. She also regularly handles single and multi-plaintiff employment litigation in the areas of unfair competition, wrongful discharge, harassment and discrimination before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. In addition, Sager regularly provides management training seminars and advice and counsel on reductions in force, employee relations, and workplace policies and procedures for the firm’s clients.

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