Does a company have the right to fire me andkeep my money to pay a loss that was not my fault?

I was told by my boss anymore company losses would come out of my bonus pay. When I discovered a loss caused by one of the managers that was fired. I first paid the loss with my money for fear of being fired then told my boss of the loss and that it had been paid by me. I was fired for not telling him first and covering it up. Also, they kept my money. Wasn’t he breaking the law by telling me I had to cover company losses? Can they keep my money? Boy times are ruthless for employees.

Asked on September 16, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your situation is a bit unclear. However, as I understand it, you were fired for covering the fact that you paid some losses caused by another. Actually, whether or not this is the case, in an "at will" employment relationship an employer has a great deal of discretion in discharging its employees. The fact is that it doesn't even have to have a reason to dismiss a worker. Unless there exists a union agreement, employment contract, or violates company policy (or your discharge had to do with some form of actionable discrimination), your employer violated no laws regarding your termination.

Finally, since you volitionally paid the money (i.e. your employer did not require you to pay it), then yes it may keep the money.


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