Can my boss deduct from my paycheck for merchandisethat I accidentallydamaged?

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Can my boss deduct from my paycheck for merchandisethat I accidentallydamaged?

I have been working at a car dealership for over 2 years. The other day while I was driving a new car to fill it up with gas, I scratched 2 of the rims on a curb. I was honest and told Ihim I did it and took responsibility. Also, after finding out how much it will cost me to replace (about $560), I asked to keep the damaged rims, since he wants me to pay for them. But he said that I have no right to take them and they belong to him. He said he wants to try and get them repaired and then reuse or sell them.

Asked on July 12, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, West Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that in a case such as this payroll deductions are not legal; an employer cannot unilaterally take the money out of an employee's paycheck to pay off damage costs. That is unless there is existing company policy to the contrary or a union/employment contract that allows for this.

Additionally, if the damages were caused intentionally or negligently (e.g. you had been drinking when this occurred), the company could sue the employee for damages (i.e. for the cost of repairs or replacement).

Note: An employee in an "at will" work arrangement can be fired for no reason or any reason whatsoever. So you may just want to work something our with your employer.


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