Can my empoyer make me pay back money that was either misplaced or stolen?

UPDATED: Jun 9, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jun 9, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my empoyer make me pay back money that was either misplaced or stolen?

I’ve worked for my employer for about 6 months and never had a cash problem until last night. My manager took the money I did have and told me I’d have to pay the rest on my next shift. It totaled out to be $142. She didn’t give me any of my tips and told me that I probably wouldn’t get any tomorrow either. However, I was still told to declare that i made tips in our system. Can they make me pay that money back?

Asked on June 9, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If an employee him- or herself steals money, or if money belonging to the employer is lost due to the employee's negligence (carelessness), the employer may seek it from the employee. However, the employer may not withhold pay from the employee without the employee's consent. What the employer can do is--

1) Ask the employee for the money

2) Fire the employee, if it believes the employee cost it money and is not willing to make good that loss

3) Sue the employee for the money, trying to prove in court that the employee was responsible for its loss, so as to get a judgment for the money against the employee

However, as stated above, the employer may not actually take the employee's pay or tips, unless the employee agrees; and while the employer can fire an employee, it can't otherwise "make" him/her pay if he/she refuses to, except by suing and winning.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption