Is this Legal? How should we handle this?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is this Legal? How should we handle this?

My wife is a general manager over a restaurant. While we were on vacation earlier this month, there were other managers from different restaurants covering her shift. The safe came up about 280 short will we were gone. We came back and she was told by her boss the marketing director that the money will be coming from her check.

Asked on October 23, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They can't take the money from her (e.g. reduce or debit her paycheck) or legally force her to pay unless 1) she agrees to pay, or 2) they sue her for the money, prove she was at fault (e.g. careless lost it; or deliberately took), and get a judgment against her.
HOWEVER, unless she has a written employment contract protecting or guarantying her job in some way, she is an "employee at will." An employee at will may be fired for any reason, fair or unfair, at any time--including that the employer believes she is resonsible for what happened while on vacation. So while she can't be compelled to pay, she could be fired (or suspended, demoted, etc.) if the employer wants; given that, she may wish to consider agreeing to pay, if that satisfies them.

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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