Can You Dock an Employee for Damages?

Posted on January 15, 2017 in Employee Issues

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Well, employees are people, too. And they may have some of your company equipment at home (laptop, cell phone, etc.).If they damage the equipment, do they have to pay for it? Can you dock their paycheck?

The answer, generally, is no. Many states prohibit companies from making deductions from an employee’s paycheck, other than those required by law (e.g., FICA and Medicare deductions), or authorized in writing by the employee and for the employee’s benefit (e.g., paying into the company’s health insurance plan). However, you might be able to set off damages if you have a clear (written) employee policy about intentional damage and if your state permits it. If you have a reason to be concerned about employees trashing your stuff (especially if they’re on the way out the door after being terminated), speak to your employment attorney.

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