Can work hold me financially responsible for mistakes at work?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can work hold me financially responsible for mistakes at work?

When I came into work today there was a note on the lottery machine at work saying that for any mistakes made you will have to pay for the ticket. If not, everyone at work including yourself, will have to split the cost of the mistake. Is it legal to have to pay for other employees’ mistakes, plus the machine sometimes glitches and prints out its own mistakes.

Asked on December 3, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Delaware


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal. An employer may put any terms or conditions on employment that the employer likes, including that employees must pay for any errrors or mistakes--and including that if one employee does not step forward to pay, all employees will together collectively pay. This is part of "employment at will": the employer can set the rules for working there; and if an employee does not want to work under those rules, he or she can seek other employment.
If you continue working there after being notified of this rule, you will be held to have agreed to it and can be held to it and forced to pay.

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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