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October 07, 2010
Voluntary Deductions For Employees in Your Organization

Cheryl Orr and Heather Sager discuss voluntary deductions for employees in a BLR webinar entitled ‘Wage Payments: What You Can and Can’t Legally Deduct from Employees’ Pay’. They provide the following information regarding voluntary deductions for employees in your organization.

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Voluntary deductions for employees can vary and can be made in the following areas:

  • Health, welfare, insurance, pension funds
  • 401k and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA)
  • Union dues
  • Direct deposits
  • Contributions to charities

All these above voluntary deductions require consent and must be specifically authorized by the employee in writing. These deductions also benefit the employee in some way. For voluntary wage assignments, the deductions can take the employee below the minimum wage. The form for voluntary deductions should specific. Some states also require a specific language for the authorization. An example of such language is where it is specified that such voluntary deductions may be revoked at any time.

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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