You cannot collect previously paid wages from an employee.1 This prevents the fraud usually associated with kickbacks.2 It is also unlawful for you to withhold any part of a collectively bargained wage with intent to defraud an employee, a competitor or any other person.3 This prevents unlawful private agreements from nullifying collective bargaining contracts.4

The law also prohibits charging an employee for medical examinations required for employment or necessitated by law.5 You cannot make a deduction of any type unless authorized by law or by the employee’s written consent to cover medical plans or insurance.6 No deduction can occur if it represents an attempt to evade minimum wage laws or a valid collective bargaining agreement.7 Secret payments from employees back to you also violate the Labor Code.8

1.Lab. Code sec. 221

2.Sublett v. Harry’s Tork & Taylor Lunch, 21 Cal. 2d 273 (1942)

3.Lab. Code sec. 222

4.Breitman v. Brady, 113 Cal. App. 2d 642 (1952)

5.Lab. Code sec. 222.5

6.Lab. Code sec. 224

7.Lab. Code sec. 222

8.Lab. Code sec. 223​