can i be fired for a mistake and then be charged for that mistake two months later

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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can i be fired for a mistake and then be charged for that mistake two months later

I made a mistake at work I put gas in the wrong tank..I was fired about a week later…then two months later I got a bill from the company for that mistake…is this legal and do I have to pay it???

Asked on August 16, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Employment is "employment at will": you can be fired for any reason, including a mistake like you describe.
2) If your negligence (carelessness) caused damage or cost the employer money, they can seek reimbursement or compensation from you, even after you are terminated. If you do not pay but were at fault, they could sue you if they deem it worthwhile. If you refuse to pay voluntarily, the only way to get the money from you is suing and, if the amount is small, they may consider it not worthwhile to do so.

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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