If a person is robbed while at work, are they responsible for the money stolen?

A friend of mine drives a taxi and was recently robbed at gun point while at work. He was notified by his company to pick up the person and the address, he picked them up, drove to the location given and was then robbed. He called the police as well as the company immediately following he robbery. The taxi company takes 50% of all money he earns (excluding tips), he pays for the gas used and he is also required to pay for insurance with them. When he called and told them he was robbed they let him know that he was still responsible for that 50% of the money that he would have given if he had not been robbed. To me this seems crazy, you get robbed and you have to pay the company the money that was stolen? Isn’t this the purpose of insurance? So what I am wondering is if the company is actually legally allowed to be doing this or if they (or my friend) should be filing this with the insurance company.

Asked on June 12, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

An employee or an independent contractor can be held responsible for 1) any money he deliberately takes or costs the company; 2) any money lost due to his negligence (or unreasonable carelessness); or 3) any amounts he has agreed to be responsible for. 1) or 2) would not seem to apply, so the issue is whether the agreement (whether written or oral) between your friend and the company would require him to pay this money. It is possible that it might; if he agreed to pay, say 50% of the metered amounts, then he would be liable for that even if the actual cash were taken from him (since  the key issue is what was metered, not what is on hand); whereas if the agreement was he gives the company 1/2 of the cash he has on hand at the end of the night, less tips, he would not. It depends on what he agreed to in driving for them.

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