Can my employer require me to reimburse missing money?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my employer require me to reimburse missing money?

My employer said that money is missing
from the bank account. He said that he
gave me the check to deposit, and that I
said I would. The check was never
deposited, and now he is saying I need to
reimburse the money.

Asked on March 23, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

He can't take the money from your paycheck without your consent. But what he can do is:
1) He can fire you if he thinks you lost or stole money, and such a firing would be "for cause"--that is, you would not be eligible for unemployment benefits. He does not need to prove you cost him the money unless you have a written employment contract requiring proof for termination; otherwise, you are an "employee at will" and may be fired at the employer's whim.
2) He could sue you for the money, and if he can prove (e.g. by believable or credible testimony) that he gave you the check to deposit and it never made it to the bank, he'd likely win.
3) If he thinks you stole the check/money, he could try to file a police report and/or press charges--if the authorities also believe that you may have stolen it, you could face charges.

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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