Can my boss charge me for mistakes made at work?

I work at a restaurant in Ohio, and my boss claims that he can make me pay for mistakes made in the kitchen or broken plates and glasses. Is this true?

Asked on January 8, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

He is both right and wrong.
Can he dock your wages, take your tips, or othewise take the money directly from you? No, not unless you consent (agree) to let him do so--the law is very clear that employee pay may not be docked or withheld without employee consent (or a court order, such as for court-ordered wage garnishment). 
However, assuming you don't have a written employment contract protecting your job, you are an "employee at will." An employee at will may be terminated at any time, for any reason--including a failure to pay for mistakes or damage. So if your boss wants you to pay for these things and you don't, you could be terminated (or suspended, hours cut, etc.).


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.