Can an employer make their employee pay for product that a customer stole?

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Can an employer make their employee pay for product that a customer stole?

I’m a waitress at a hotel restaurant. A customer came in and ate. After their meal they stated that they were going to pay with their room account. I left them the receipt and explained how to fill it out. They left and took

the receipt with all the billing info. Now my employer is forcing me to pay for their meal. Is this legal?

Asked on May 29, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, West Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

In most states, an employee can be made to pay for customer walk-outs. That having been said, your employer cannot just make a deduction from your wages. In W V, an employee must consent to any such deductions made from their paychecks. Although, your employer could request that you voluntarily reimburse them for the walk-out and if you don't you could be terminated. The fact is that unless you have protection under a union agreement or employment contract, you are an "at will" worker. Accordingly, you can be discharged for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

In most states, an employee can be made to pay for customer walk-outs. That having been said, your employer cannot just make a deduction from your wages. In W V, an employee must consent to any such deductions made from their paychecks. Although, your employer could request that you voluntarily reimburse them for the walk-out and if you don't you could be terminated. The fact is that unless you have protection under a union agreement or employment contract, you are an "at will" worker. Accordingly, you can be discharged for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. 


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