Can my place of work make me pay back the amount my drawer was short on the spot or within 3 days?

UPDATED: Oct 29, 2011

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Can my place of work make me pay back the amount my drawer was short on the spot or within 3 days?

I currently work in a fast food place and my drawer is normally never short but when it is it’s about a dollar or less. But one night after I let someone else work off my drawer, I was $16 short. I am just wondering is it legal for them to make me pay it either right then and there or within 3 days? I heard that is illegal.

Asked on October 29, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) They cannot take the money out of your pay or salary, unless you agree to let them do this.

2) If they believe that you either intentionally caused the short (i.e. stole) or negligently (carelessly) caused it (for example, by leaving the register drawer open while you walked away, so someone could reach in and take the money), they could sue you to get the money back--though for  $16, it's impossible to see how that would be worthwhile.

3) If you do not have an employment contract or agreement of some kind protecting or guarantying your employment, you could be fired by your employer for essentialloy any reason--which includes them thinking you cost them money.

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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