Can my employer charge me for an ornament that was broken at a client’s?

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Can my employer charge me for an ornament that was broken at a client’s?

I am working with a cleaning company. I was working at a site and there was a round glass ornament that was placed on a table which was dropped on floor when I was cleaning the table. It broken into pieces. Now my employer wants me to pay $2,070 for it. I

am a student and doing this job part-time. I earn $266 weekly.

Asked on December 13, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you were careless in breaking another's property, even while at work, you are liable, or responsible, for the cost. If your employer had to pay the client for it, they can require the money from you in turn. If you don't agree to pay it, however, they cannot simply take the money from your paycheck (money can only be taken from a employee's check with employee consent or as ordered by a court), but rather would have to sue you for the money--though for $2,000+, they may very well decide to sue. They can, of course, also fire you.
If the employer did not have to pay the client, then the employer has NO claim against you (but can still fire you, since employmet is employment at will--you can be terminated at any time, for any reason): it's not their property and they did not pay for it. But the client could sue you directly, if they chose.


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