What to do if I work in the service department of a car dealership but damaged a vehicle and now my employer has told me that I am responsible for the damages?

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What to do if I work in the service department of a car dealership but damaged a vehicle and now my employer has told me that I am responsible for the damages?

Today while driving a vehicle into the shop, I pulled up a little too far and the gate that opens up snagged the front of the vehicle and caused body damage to the entire front. The gate has no safety feature to stop it in the event of an emergency or if something were in the way. I was told that I must pay for it out of my paychecks. What are my rights?

Asked on January 20, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unless there is specific company policy, an employment contrary or union agreement to the contrary, then you can be held liable for the damages. The fact is that most employment relationships are what is known as "at will", this means that an emloyer can impose whatever conditions of employment it sees fit. Therefore, absent some form of actionale discrimination being invovled, you'll need to pay. That having been said, unless you consent to this paycheck deduction, your empoyer can't do it. If they want their money you will have to agree to a payment arrangement (which could include paycheck deductions) or else they can sue you in court. Just note, you could be fired if you can't come to an acceptable arrangement.


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