Employer wants all staff to pay for lost stock?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Employer wants all staff to pay for lost stock?

The company I have worked for is trying to get every member of staff to cover the cost of stock that one member that’s not been proving is drinking. The alcohol is in the cellar behind a door with a keypad that only we know. One person throughout the course of 3 months has helped themselves to $200 worth of stock. The manager is trying to get all of us to pay an equal amount to cover the lost. Where do I stand with this as I don’t think this seems correct. When I first started I looked through my contract and it definitely doesn’t say anything about covering the lost of stock.

Asked on May 14, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

They can't make you pay without either 1) your agreement or consent to repay, or 2) suing you and winning, by proving in court that you caused or contributed to the loss (e.g. that you helped this other person take or drink up the stock). If they try to simply take money from your paycheck without your agreement or consent, they would be illegal and you could either sue for the money or contact the state department of labor about filing a complaint.
However, bear in mind that if you don't have a written employment contract for a set time (e.g. a one-year contract) which is still in effect (e.g. unexpired), you are an employee at will. As an employee at will, you can be fired (or suspended, pay or hours cut, etc.) at any time, for any reason, including your employer suspecting without proof that you may have had something to do with the loss of stock. No evidence or proof is required to terminate an employee at will. So while your employer can't force you or your colleagues to pay, they can take other actions if they feel you in some way cost them money.

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