Is it legal to make employees pay shortages from their drawer?

All the employees in my establishment are being forced to pay a total of $18 split between us to cover the

shortages in the drawer. I myself have had to pay $20 by myself to cover a shortage because of my being in

Asked on June 10, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that as long as an employee still earns at least the minimum wage, there's no rule against charging an employee for a shortage. This is true so long as this has been existing company policy. If it is a new policy, the employee can only be charged for shortages after the new policy went into effect (i.e. not retroactively). So unless you have an employment contract or union agreement that prohibits this action, it is legal. Also, your tereatment must no contitute any form of legally actionable discrimination (which it does not appear to). That having been said, the general rule is that no deductions can be made from an employee's paycheck without at least their written consent (some states additionally mandate that this can only be done if the employee was negligent or intentionally caused the shortage). Accordingly, if your employer wants payment you must voluntarily give it (or face termination). Also, your employer could sue you in small claims court for any amounts it claims that you owe.

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