Can an employer make an employee pay back a cash shortage if multiple people were on the register?

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Can an employer make an employee pay back a cash shortage if multiple people were on the register?

Asked on January 20, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If a cash register drawer comes up short or you damage merchandise, the general rule under federal law isthat as long as an employee still earns at least the minimum wage after deductions, there's no rule against charging losses and damage to the employee. This is true even if multiple co-workers were on the register. 
That having been said, many states have adopted more stringent rules. Some require employers to get the employee's express written consent before they can deduct the cost of shortages from the employee's paycheck; others only allow these deductions from an employee who assumes responsibility for the loss.
To be sure of the law in your state, contact its department of labor for further information.


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