If I work for a company that goes into customer’s home, is it legal for my employer to make me pay for accidental damage?

UPDATED: Apr 3, 2012

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If I work for a company that goes into customer’s home, is it legal for my employer to make me pay for accidental damage?

Asked on April 3, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Delaware


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If an employee causes his/her employer to incur costs, such as by negligently damaging someone else's property, for which the employer would be liable, the employer is not required to absorb the cost--it may ask its employee to pay the expense.

If the employee will not pay, the employer may not deduct the money froom his/her paycheck--it is illegal to withhold or deduct money from wages without employee consent, except as required by law (e.g. cerrtain taxes; a court-ordered wage garnishment). However:

1) An employer may terminate an employee who causes it to incur liability or expense; and

2) If the employer thinks you are at fault and there's enough money at stake to make it worthwhile, it has the option of suing you for the 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 AttorneyPages.com 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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