Can an employer take a till shortage out of an employee’s paycheck?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer take a till shortage out of an employee’s paycheck?

Has not happened yet, was given a pieces of paper to sign that said if my drawer was short it would come out of my paycheck. I have not signed yet. My concern is that so far when I come on shift others have been in the drawer before me, so there is no information that is was me that might have been short.

Asked on June 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Nebraska


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

An employer can only make such a deduction if an employee expressly agrees to it in writing. Otherwise, if an employer thinks that it is owed money by an employee, it will either have to get the employee to voluntarily pay it or else they can sue the employee in small claims court to collect. The fact is that most employment is "at will" which means that an employer can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This is true unless such an action violates company policy, a union agreement or employment contract. Also, the employee's treatment cannot constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination. Just be aware that, if you refuse to sign the paper, you risk termination since a company can discharge a worker for any reason or no reason at all.

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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