What can I do if my employer is charging me for damage made by a customer?

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What can I do if my employer is charging me for damage made by a customer?

I work in a carwash and a customer had damage to his car. My employer paid the bill. Then my check came and was short for the amount of the damage. Is this legal? Can he do this?

Asked on August 10, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

The employer may not take money out of your check if you damaged a customer's car, unless you consent (agree) to allow them to do so; the labor law is very clear about that. You could file a complaint with the department of labor or sue (e.g. in small claims court, as your own attorney) for the money.
What the employer can do is:
1) If you cost them money (e.g. by damaging a car, which they paid for), they can sue you for the money; if they can show you caused the damage, they can get a court judgment ordering that you pay them. If you sue for you pay, they could countersue for the money you cost them, so you might not come out ahead.
2) They could fire (or demote, suspend, etc.) you for damaging a customer's car and costing them money, or for doing so and refusing to voluntarily pay for it.


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