Can an employer sue for company money that was stolen from me?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer sue for company money that was stolen from me?

I got into a car accident while on delivery service for my job. While I was talking to an officer, a bystander proceeded to steal the company money out of my car. I have been since fired, but my ex-employer threatens to sue me if I do not pay him back the stolen company money. What do I do?

Asked on April 8, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is legal to file a lawsuit against you if they in good faith (i.e. not for an improper purpose) believe that you may have been at fault in some way for the loss. And if they can show in court that any of the following occured--
1) you were negligent, or careless, in not securing the company money (e.g. you should have had it on you when you got out of the car, not left it in an unattended and unlocked car);
2) or you were involved in the theft--either stole it yourself and blamed it on another, or collaborated with the thief
--then they could win the lawsuit and get a court judgment requiring you to repay it. They would have to show one of the above by a "preponderance of the evidence," or that it is more likely than not. Note that as per 1) above, being careless about money in your safekeeping or charge would make you liable for its loss, and leaving the money in the car could certainly be careless.

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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