Can an employer deduct money from an employee’s check for a lost receipt?

My company is threatening to charge me for lost credit card receipts that were
directly related to my job. There were no personal charges. Are they allowed to
do this without my approval?

Asked on September 11, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, they cannot do this unless you consent to it, either this time specifically or by previously having signed some agreement giving them the right to deduct from your paycheck for this.
In the absence of your consent, while they cannot legally deduct money from your paycheck (if they do, you could sue them, such as small claims court, for the money), they could do any of the following:
1) Terminate you, since unless you have a written employment contract for a definite period (e.g. a one-year contract) which is still in effect (unexpired) which protects or guarantees your employment, you are an "employee at will" and may be terminated at any time, for any reason whatsoever.
2) Suspend you, reduce your hours, or reduce your pay going forward (as long as you remain at or above minimum wage), again, because without an employment contract, you are an employee at will.
3) Sue you for any money you cost them, if losing the receipt(s) did cost them money in some way.

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