Can a restaurant employer require a server to pay the bill of someone who dined and dashed?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a restaurant employer require a server to pay the bill of someone who dined and dashed?

This occurred the other night and they are telling me that if I do not pay the tab, that I may be fired.

Asked on November 21, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In most states it is not legal for an employer to set a policy that allows that employer to deduct from the employee's salary any amount owed by a customer who has skipped out on a check. Minimum wage and like employment and labor laws ensure full pay for hours worked; an employer illegally deducting money from an employees salary faces severe penalties.

So as a genral rule you cannot be charged for a walk-out, unless that is, you specifically agreed to be. That having been said, you could be terminated for not doing so. The reason is that most employment arrangements are what is known as "at will". This means that you can choose to work for an employer, or not. In turn, your employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no at all. Therefore, while legally you have the right to not make up for a walk-out, you could lose your job over it. 


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