Is it theft.when a.supervisor asks for uniforms to be returned and never returns them . And the company deducts the uniform cost on final check

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Is it theft.when a.supervisor asks for uniforms to be returned and never returns them . And the company deducts the uniform cost on final check

I was hired to work boss sends supervisor and I
to get 4 pairs of fire resistant pants and 1
pair of work boots for the job that required
special clothing and for safety . I was given a
form to sign stating that the items purchased
be employer were to be deducted from employees
paycheck. I quit the job and turned in all
items issued by company . Supervisor asked for
me to return all pants that were still new and
would be not be taken out my last paycheck. I
gave two new pair was still charged for them.

Asked on April 27, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, New Mexico

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Your question is somewhat unclear, since it initially states that the employee never turned in the uniforms, but then states that the employee turned pairs in but was still charged for them. If the following does not answer the question, you should clarify and repost.
1) If an employee keeps uniforms he paid for and was not reimbursed for, that is legal: in this case, since the company never paid for them, they belong to the employee.
2) If an employee keeps any uniforms or parts of uniforms that the company paid for (or reimbursed him for) that is theft: he is taking something belonging to the company. He can be charged with theft; the employee can also be charged for what he did not turn in, though the employer cannot simply keep part or all of his paycheck unless he agrees to let the company do it: rather, the company would have to sue him for the money (the cost of the uniforms) if it felt it worthwhile to do so.


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