Is an employer allowed to charge an employee for accidental damges done to product?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is an employer allowed to charge an employee for accidental damges done to product?

The employer threatened to terminate the job in htat moment but instead he wanted
to keep hs hardworking employee, the catch is is that he wants the employee to
pay back the lost product. He is forcing that the price be the same as the
reetail value instead of the production price or what he buys it for. The
employee makes minimun wage. Their are cameras at the work place and the tapes
were reviewed, in the tapes it is seen that the damge was completely accidental.
Is it legal for the employer to make the employee pay and if so, make the person
pay the retail value?

Asked on May 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The employer cannot take the money out of their paycheck or otherwise legally force them to pay unless he  sues them and proves in court that the damage was done negligently--or by their unreasonable carelessness. (So yes, you can be required to pay for things you damage or destroy accidentally, if the accident were due to carelessness.) But the employer can terminate or fire the employees if he feels they cost him money and will not repay it: unless the employees have written employment contracts protecting their employment, they are "employees at will" and may be terminated at any time, for any reason, including that the employer believes they are responsible for his loss.

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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