Walking out is not appropriate, but establishments are forbidden by law to deduct from an employees wages to cover a shortage.
8.What deductions can be made from an employee's wages?
The only deductions allowed are 1) payroll, wage or withholding taxes, and deductions otherwise authorized by law, and 2) those amounts authorized to be deducted by written and signed authorization of the employee. The authorization must be truly voluntary and not signed as a condition of employment. Virginia Code § 40.1-29(C).
9.Can an employer legally deduct from an employee's wages money to cover damaged equipment or cash register shortages if the employee does not provide a truly voluntary written and signed consent?
No. The Code prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to sign any contract or agreement which provides for the forfeiture of the employee's wages. Virginia Code § 40.1-29(D).
10.Can an employer require an employee, as a condition of employment, to sign an agreement to forfeit any part of his or her wages for items such as breakage or shortages?
No. See Virginia Code § 40.1-29(D).
11.Can an employer be fined for a violation of the payment of wage law?
A civil monetary penalty up to $1,000.00 per violation may be assessed. Each failure to pay properly each employee for each pay period is considered to be a separate violation. A willful violation, or a violation with intent to defraud, constitutes a crime punishable by jail and a fine up to $2,500.00. In addition to being subject to civil monetary penalties and criminal prosecution, any employer who fails to make payment of wages in accordance with the payment of wage law shall be liable for the payment of all wages due plus interest at an annual rate of 8% accruing from the date the wages were due. Virginia Code § 40.1-29.
If these examples have not answered your payment of wage question, submit a question to our Labor and Employment Law Division.