Uniforms cause $16K minimum wage violation: Avoid deduction trouble Restaurant breaks the law with its repayment policy Employers often provide workers with uniforms, but if they’re paid for through pay deductions, it’s important to make sure employees still receive the minimum wage. Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before the Dept. of Labor (DOL) finds out about the issue. At North Harbor Club LLC, a restaurant in North Carolina, the cost of uniforms was regularly deducted from employees’ pay. This made workers’ hourly rates fall below the federal minimum wage. Along with this violation, the DOL discovered that the restaurant didn’t pay overtime correctly to one employee who did different jobs during separate shifts each workweek. In all, the company was ordered to pay $16,859 in back wages and damages to 18 employees for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. Prorating the Amounts When it comes to deductions for uniforms, they must be handled carefully for hourly workers. If employees are only earning the federal minimum wage, employers can’t make deductions from their pay to cover the cost of uniforms – or require them to pay out of pocket. Deductions can be prorated over multiple paychecks for workers who make more than the minimum wage as longs as their take-home pay is equal to or greater than the minimum wage. These rules also apply to deductions for other reasons (e.g., requiring workers to pay for cash-register shortages). More info: bit.ly/uniforms582