Can an employer demand money from a manager for property stolen by an another employee?

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Can an employer demand money from a manager for property stolen by an another employee?

My boyfriend was recently let go from his job as a manager of a retail store because an employee had stolen several hundred dollars worth of merchandise during his shift (of which he was unaware). The company is now demanding he pay back $500 for the stolen material. Is this legal?

Asked on September 8, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If there was a stated company policy, or an employment/union contract provided for this, his employer could hold him liable for the amount of the theft. However, unless such a policy was already in effect at the time of the theft, your boyfriend's ex-employer cannot now demand any money from him. If his employer attempts to sue him for the money or deduct any amounts from his last paycheck, that is a violation of the law.  In such a case, your boyfriend should contact your state's department of labor. 


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