What are the rules on an employees being responsible to cover money that went missing on their shift?

At the end of my shift, my department was short the dollar amount of a drawer from the previous shift. Cameras were watched and neither the other manager or I did anything wrong, nor did it show anyone else taking the money. Since they cannot pin point who or what happened to the money, can they make me responsible to pay it back?

Asked on January 20, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

In most states, an employer may make it a condition of employment that workers will make up any shortfalls in their cash drawers. Accordingly, if you agreed to this (which includes the terms of an employment/union contract or even implicitly agreeing by virtue of taking the job with knowledge of this requirement), it is enforceable and legal. That having been said, your company may not just take the money out of  your paycheck unless you agreed to let them do so. Without an employee's consent, a business may only withhold from pay those amounts required by law (taxes, court-ordered child support, garnishment, etc.). However, the employer could fire you if you refuse to repay the money and it could possibly sue you for it.

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

In most states, an employer may make it a condition of employment that workers will make up any shortfalls in their cash drawers. Accordingly, if you agreed to this (which includes the terms of an employment/union contract or even implicitly agreeing by virtue of taking the job with knowledge of this requirement), it is enforceable and legal. That having been said, your company may not just take the money out of  your paycheck unless you agreed to let them do so. Without an employee's consent, a business may only withhold from pay those amounts required by law (taxes, court-ordered child support, garnishment, etc.). However, the employer could fire you if you refuse to repay the money and it could possibly sue you for it.


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