Can an employer take money from your paycheck if a semi-trailer ceiling didn’t get fixed and a load got rejected?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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Can an employer take money from your paycheck if a semi-trailer ceiling didn’t get fixed and a load got rejected?

Had 3 trucks go down that day and couldn’t get to it trying to get the 3 trucks running. However, he or the dispatcher should have sent a mass text message to all drivers that the trailer shouldn’t go to that place if not fixed, yet expected the mechanic to remember to text them after 15 hours of getting trucks up and running that day. They have 1 mechanic and a helper for 39 trucks and trailers.

Asked on September 7, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you were at fault e.g. negligent, or unreasonably careless in causing the load to be rejected, the employer could seek the amount of money they lost from you. However, if you do not voluntarily pay it, they cannot simply take it from your paycheck without your consent rather, they would have to sue you in court and win, proving that you were at fault in causing them a loss and getting a court judgment against you for the money. Of course, if you do not have a written employment contract, you are an "employee at will" and they could simply fire you or suspend, demote, reduce hours, etc. if they feel that you improperly cost them money, since employees at will may be fired at any time, for any reason.

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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