Can cam company charge you for stolen equipment Georgia?

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Can cam company charge you for stolen equipment Georgia?

I work for a small landscaping business. They have a couple mobile teams. For one team I was surprised to learn that the to employees there were being charged for an expensive lawn mower that was stolen while those two employees were working, they just were not using the lawn mower at the time. They did not mean for it to get stolen but it is difficult to keep eyes on everything when you have to provide vigorous labor in the hot sun at the same time. So is it legal that our employer is charging these men for equipment that they did not steal themselves?

Asked on May 9, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

The employer cannot simply make an employee pay for stolen equipment if the employee refuses to do so. But the employer can fire an employee (if the employee does not have a written employment contract protecting or guarantying his employment) at any time for any reason--including equipment begin stolen on the employee's watch and the employee not paying for it. So the employee may have to choose between this job and paying. 
Or an employer can sue the employee for the money, and if the employer can prove in court that the theft occured due to the employee being careless or negligent (e.g. leaving equipment unattended), get a court judgment requiring the employee to pay.


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