Yes. This question comes up a lot more often than you might expect. While the New York Labor Law used to prohibit such deductions without the employee’s consent, effective November 2012, New York Labor Law § 193 was amended to permit an employer to reduce an employee’s wages without the employee’s consent to recover overpayment of wages due to a mathematical or clerical error. While the law states that the the New York Dep’t of Labor will issue regulations which will govern these deductions (including the timing, frequency and size of any deduction), none have been issued as of the date of this post. The law is clear on one point though: before making such deductions, an employer MUST provide notice to the employee before making any deduction.
If your employer is deducting pay because they previously overpaid you, you should consult with an attorney for additional information. If you have additional questions or would like to be connected with an attorney that may be able to help you, contact us here.