Can my boss charge me for this?

I work at a hotel, our boss wants us to collect credit card numbers for all guests as a way to guarantee the guest would stay. Sometimes we forget to do so, and one of those guests might be a no show. Since we can’t charge the person for the lost night as a no show because we don’t have the guest’s information, management forces us, the employee to pay for that night because they lost revenue for our mistake. As far as I read on the federal wage information, that is illegal since we get paid federal minimum wage. What options do I have?

Asked on January 14, 2018 under Employment Labor Law


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If a someone costs their employer money either due to carelessness or an intentional act, they become liable for that money. That having been said, an employer simply cannot make a deduction for it without the worker's consent written consent. However, this doesn't mean you don't owe it, it just means that your employer must sue you for it  if they want to collect. Additionally, they could legally terminate you for this.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, it is legal: if you cost your employer money through your carelessness (e.g. failure to collect credit card information), you become liable for (i.e. have to pay) that money. It is true that the employer cannot simply deduct that money from your pay without your consent or agrement--employee pay may only be deducted or withheld with employee consent or by court (or IRS) order, such as for wage garnishment. But the fact that the employer cannot unilaterally take the money out of your pay doesn't mean you don't owe it: the employer could sue you for it. And/or the employer could legally terminate you for costing it money without repaying the funds.

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