Is it legal if I work at a bar and several packs of the cigarettes that we sell went missing, so my employer said that every employee who smokes is responsible to pay for them?

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Is it legal if I work at a bar and several packs of the cigarettes that we sell went missing, so my employer said that every employee who smokes is responsible to pay for them?

Asked on May 9, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The employer can say that unless employees who smoke pay for the missing cigarettes, he/she will fire (or demote, suspend, etc.) those employees: employment is "employment at will" (unless you have an employment contract, that is) and an employer may fire (or demote, suspend, etc.) employees at any time, for any reason, even unfair ones.

The employer cannot simply take the money out of your paychecks unless you agree to let the employer to that. To force you to pay, unless you agree to pay, he/she would have to sue you and win, which would not be worthwhile--but, as stated, the employer may elect to fire the smokers if he/she thinks they may be taking cigarettes without paying for them.


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