Can my employer charge me for breaking something?

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Can my employer charge me for breaking something?

I’m 17 and I make $8 an hour. I was cleaning an oven at a pizza place and something got caught in it and it won’t work anymore, also one of the managers saw it and said nothing just got really mad. Supposedly the oven had been breaking every so often.

Asked on June 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If an employee breaks something through negligence, or carelessness, his or her employer can look to recover the cost to repair or replace from him or her. If the employee will not pay voluntarily when the employer asks for the money, the employer has the option of suing the employee; if the employer can prove in court that the employee caused the damage through some carelessness (or deliberately, for that matter), the employer could recover the money. The employer may not simply take the money out of the employee's pay, however--that is illegal, without employee consent or a court order (wage garnishment).


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