Can my employer hold me responsible for cash register shortages over 1.00.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my employer hold me responsible for cash register shortages over 1.00.

We often share the cash register with at least 2 people per shift. If
the cash is short my employer expects employees to repay the loss. Is
this legal? Thank you

Asked on November 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfair as it seems, yes your employer can do this. That is unless this action violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. The fact is that most employment is "at will", which means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes who to hold responsible for a cash shortage. That having been said, without your consent, your employer can not deduct such shortages from your paycheck. If they wanted to be paid, they would have to sue you in small claims court. That having been said, if you don't pay voluntarily, you can be terminated since a worker can be discharged for any reason or no reason at all.

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