Do I pay an employee who caused damages?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I pay an employee who caused damages?

We own a carpentry company and hired an employee to peel wallpaper. He not only walked off the job but caused thousands in damages within the 8 hours he worked for us. He is now requesting payment for those 8 hours. The damages he caused will cost us much more than his 8 hr pay to repair. Do we

need to pay him?

Asked on January 18, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Rhode Island


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, unfortunately you must pay him, though you can also sue him to recover the costs or damage he caused. The law treats the employer's obligation to pay employees for the work they do as separate and distinct from any claims the employer may have against the employee. An employer may only withhold employee pay if the employee consents or agrees to it, or if there is a court order for wage garnishment.

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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