Can an employee be forced to purchase a returned item?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an employee be forced to purchase a returned item?

I work in retail, our company has a 14 day return/exchange program for customer satisfaction. however, if an item is returned and the back office disagrees with the restock fee charged you have two options – one take back as a resell (in other words put it into an employee specific inventory status) if you take this option you are required to sell it within a certain number of days or purchase it yourself. The second option is to pay the difference between what you took at the time of return for restock and what the back office feels you should have taken, then the item is returned into general inventory as an open box item. What is the legality of either of these options, can they really force me to buy something that was returned?

Asked on April 15, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If this is a known term or condition of employment, then yes, your employer can require you to purchase returned items. Employers may set the terms and conditions of employment at will, including ones that cost or potentially cost employees money  (such as requiring that employees pay for own travel, computers, phones, vehicles, tools, training, etc.). If employees agree to these conditions, which agreement can be inferred from the employee continuing to work there after knowing of or receiving notice of the requirement, then they are enforceable.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption