Does a company have the right to fire me andkeep my money to pay a loss that was not my fault?

UPDATED: Sep 16, 2011

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UPDATED: Sep 16, 2011Fact Checked

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Does a company have the right to fire me andkeep my money to pay a loss that was not my fault?

I was told by my boss anymore company losses would come out of my bonus pay. When I discovered a loss caused by one of the managers that was fired. I first paid the loss with my money for fear of being fired then told my boss of the loss and that it had been paid by me. I was fired for not telling him first and covering it up. Also, they kept my money. Wasn’t he breaking the law by telling me I had to cover company losses? Can they keep my money? Boy times are ruthless for employees.

Asked on September 16, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your situation is a bit unclear. However, as I understand it, you were fired for covering the fact that you paid some losses caused by another. Actually, whether or not this is the case, in an "at will" employment relationship an employer has a great deal of discretion in discharging its employees. The fact is that it doesn't even have to have a reason to dismiss a worker. Unless there exists a union agreement, employment contract, or violates company policy (or your discharge had to do with some form of actionable discrimination), your employer violated no laws regarding your termination.

Finally, since you volitionally paid the money (i.e. your employer did not require you to pay it), then yes it may keep the money.

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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