Does a business have the right to take money out of an employee’s paycheck if they accidentally damage property?

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Does a business have the right to take money out of an employee’s paycheck if they accidentally damage property?

The employee was an automotive technician who damaged a car he is working on. It was by accident because he was not qualified to do the job due to a lack of training.

Asked on October 3, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, money may not be deducted from an employee's paycheck without the employee's consent. That is with the exception of certain deductions required by law, for example FICA or court-ordered wage garnishments. That having been said, an employer could sue an employee for reimbursement regarding damages. However, under the circumstances (the damage was accidental and the employee was not properly trained) they would most likely not prevail.


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