What do I do if our bank was defrauded and as a teller I have been asked to pay?

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What do I do if our bank was defrauded and as a teller I have been asked to pay?

I work at the bank as a teller. Not too long ago, our mobile money transfer system was hacked into by some anonymous persons who were able to use my secret pin/till known to me alone to withdraw some money from the system. I don’t know how they found my pin but they did and they used it to steal from the bank. Now, my employers have asked me to pay that money. I would like to know if there is a legal action I can take because the money involved is huge and it will take me years to pay. How can I pay money I did not steal or have no idea how the hackers were able to steal using my pin. Other banks have and transfer agents have complained of similar fraud activity. What do I do?

Asked on December 22, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you were negligent, or careless, in how you secured your pin  (e.g. wrote it down somewhere someone could find; told someone; etc.) or in not changing it as often as you were supposed to and that carelesness contributed to the thief obtaining it, you could be liable for, or responsible to repay, the money; when someone (including an employee) costs another person (including their employer) money through careless, they become resonsible for it. So it is not necessary that you stole or that you know how the hackers stole--all that is necessary is that you were negligent.
However, if you refuse to pay (i.e. do not sign the loan document--if you do sign it, you contractually obligate yourself to pay), your employer would have to sue you for the money. To win in court, they'd have to be able to prove not just that it was your pin, but that you were in some way at fault in the pin being used by another person. If they can't do that, they cannot get a judgment requiring you to pay--and only a court judgment can require you to pay.
Of course, your employer is free to terminate you if they like, unless you have a written employment contract preventing termination in this circumstances; without a written contract, you are an employee at will and may be terminated at any time, for any reason whatsoever, including unfair or unproven ones.


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