Can a retailer hold a sales associate responsible if they received a fake bill?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a retailer hold a sales associate responsible if they received a fake bill?

I work for a fast food chain. Last week, I received a fake hundred dollar bill. It was what was called a wash out it was a real $5 bill that was washed out and had a fake hundred printed on it. I marked it with the bill marker, it did not change colors. However, the store safe did not accept it come to find out it was fake. Can my employer take that hundred dollars out of my paycheck to replace the money that the

store is out?

Asked on March 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

An employer may never take money out of a paycheck without the employee's written permission. However, the employee may still be liable for repayment to their employer. It depends. If the employee was at fault in accepting the counterfeit bill because they were either unreasonably careless (i.e. it was a bad fake which the employee should have spotted), then the employee would be liable for the money. If the employee does not voluntarily repay it, the employer could sue though it would not likely be worth its while to do so. On the other hand, if the employee was not at fault (i.e. there was no reason to think it was a forged bill because it was tested, etc.), then the employee should not be liable. That having been said, if the employee does not have an employment contract protecting their job, then their employer could fire them "at will" for any reason or no reason at all.

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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