What can I do if every time I work my employer says that the register came up short, so I have to put money back in?

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What can I do if every time I work my employer says that the register came up short, so I have to put money back in?

I count the money and it always comes up the correct amount but for some reason they say it didn’t and I have to come out of pocket. This is also happening to the other employees. I thought it was just me but it is everybody. I feel that this is illegal. Is it?

Asked on June 16, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It is legal for the company to ask or request you to make up a shortfall IF they honestly think that one occured on your watch. If you do not believe there was a shortfall or that (if there was) it was your fault, you can refuse to put money in. If you do that, if they want to get the money from you, they'd have to sue you and prove in court that money was missing and it was your fault (e.g. that you took the money, or lost it through negligence or carelessness). They could fire you if you refuse to put money in, since if you don't have a written contract, you are an employee at will, and employees at will may be fired at any time; but that might be for the best--do you really want to work someplace that keeps taking money from you?

And if you think that they are not simply making an honest mistake (i.e. honestly, but wrongly, thinking there is a shortfall) but are rather knowingly lying to you and pressuring you to pay when you did nothing wrong or there is no shortfall, you might have a legal cause of action against them, and may wish to discuss the matter with an employment law attorney or speak with your state labor department.


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