Can an employer charge an employee for a lost paycheck?

UPDATED: Dec 26, 2012

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Can an employer charge an employee for a lost paycheck?

Asked on December 26, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the employee was negligent, or careless, in losing the paycheck, and as a result, the employer incurred some costs (e.g. stop check fee; a service fee to its payroll processor), the employer can expect the employer to reimburse it for those costs. If the employee does not voluntarily pay the employer, the employer cannot take the money from the employee's pay--but it could fire him or her (assuming there is not employment contract preventing this) and/or sue the employee (including in small claims court) for the money.

If the employee was not negligent or otherwise at fault, he or she would not legally be required to repay; but if there is no employment contract, the employer could still elect to fire him or her, since without an employment contract, the employee is an employee at will and may be fired at any time, for any reason.

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 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.

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