Ridout Barron


Some deductions might lead to employment contract disputes

There is an endless list of requirements with which employers in Alberta must comply with regards to their employees. Employment contract disputes might arise when wage deductions take place. Under employment law, certain deductions are not allowed under any circumstances.

If an employer requires employees to wear uniforms when they are on duty, the company must provide it and carry all associated costs. It includes cleaning, repair, rental and use of the uniforms. When it comes to personal protective equipment, employers may only recover the cost of purchasing it with the employee's written authorization. The Occupational Health and Safety Code mandates that employers must provide respiratory protection equipment, and they may require workers to pay for other PPE.

Deductions for faulty work are also not allowed, regardless of the loss to the employer. Examples of circumstances that might cause company losses include unintentional damage to equipment or a company vehicle as well as production errors. In cases of cash register shortages, employees may only be held accountable to replace losses if only he or she had access to the cash. If anybody else, like the employer, manager, co-workers or customers, had access to it, the money may not be deducted from the employee's wages. Furthermore, the employer must allow the employee to balance and finalize the cash in the register and give written authorization for deductions of shortages from wages.

Circumstances that might lead to cash shortages include patrons walking out of a restaurant or bar without settling their bills, service station clients who drive off before paying for gas, and breakages or damage in a restaurant. Employers in Alberta who deducted unauthorized amounts from the wages of employees might find themselves facing legal action. However, seeking legal counsel before making such deductions might be the best way to avoid such charges or other employment contract disputes.

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Ridout Barron

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