Can the franchise restaurant chain I work for charge every one of their employees a fee each shift for soda, even if they do not drink it?

When looking at the amount of restaurants they own, it seems that these owners could be making an extra $100,000 per year by taking money from their employees. I did sign a paper acknowledging this when the restaurant was first bought out, however I was under the impression that if I did not, I would no longer have a job.

Asked on July 8, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, a business can only legally charge a person be it a customer or an employee for something he or she desires and actually uses or consumes such as the soda in your case.

If you are charged a fee for each shift that you work for a soda by your employer whether you drink one or not, such a charge is improper and the agreement that you signed would in all likelihood be "void" (not enforceable) under the laws of your state.

For example, maybe some employees may not want to drink soda but prefer tap water or bring their own drinks such as gatorade?

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