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Can they fire me for refusing to pay back a shortage that they cannot be sure was my fault?

So there was a $200 shortage at my work. Unfortunately, our night manager doesn't follow policy when it comes to the cashiers and their drawers. There are 4 of us that are getting the write up with the stipulation that we each pay back $50. If I refuse to pay, can they fire me? I reread the policy today and it said that money shortages were "grounds for disciplinary actions up to termination" but doesn't say anything about actually paying it back. There is no way to know which of the 4 of us it was, if it even was one of the 4 of us because I left hours before close and cannot be sure no one else handled that drawer. I did note on my write up that I would no longer cover registers unless I had my own drawer transferred and that I wanted my drawer switched out before I left from now on as policy dictates and also that policy was not followed with regard to this incident.


Asked by Anonymous at 2:08 AM on Dec. 2, 2008 in Money & Work

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • Yes. I would question the circumstances though, most places that handle large volumes of money would consider re-payment of a shortage a disciplinary action. You could always sue them and argue about the circumstances under which the money went missing, but you would have to decided whether or not it's really worth it.

    Answer by Slinkee at 2:13 AM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • they can fire you...and make you pay it can also go to dh draw was short and dont know i would be careful

    Answer by mama2twins07 at 2:13 AM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • Most times when you get to be a cashier you sign a form that states you are responsible for your drawer while on duty. Your manager may not have followed policy but is there a reason you couldn't of closed out your own drawer? Most companies are legally authorized to debit your paycheck to recieve the amount that is missing from the drawer.

    Answer by bubblycute at 2:16 AM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • I wouldnt personally pay them anything if you werent the only one in the drawer. They cannot only hold you up to the policy (paying back or disciplinary action) and not hold themselves to it by only having one employee in the register. Now if you were the only one in it I would say something totally different. Are you willing to fight them? it all depends on how much you like your job, do you think they would fire you? Do you really really need the job? Personally I wouldnt pay anything regardless if it costed me my job or not just on principal but I dont know the entire situation and its your choice.

    Answer by Crystal42683 at 2:18 AM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • my old job was like that for the bartenders who ever was on that draw had to split the amount that was missing it came out of there check

    Answer by mama2twins07 at 2:20 AM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • just in response to one answer, sometimes its not your choice to close your drawer, a manager does it. Especially at fast food joints, etc. I have worked a few restaurants and one fast food place that have more then one person in the till and keep it open when you leave.

    Answer by Crystal42683 at 2:21 AM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • Like bubbly said, most of those places reserve the right to deduct any expenses you cause from your check. Even if she refuses to pay and gets fired, they will just deduct the money from her final paycheck.

    Answer by Slinkee at 2:21 AM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • At least they are holding all 4 cashiers at fault and it's not just on you to pay back! Think of it this way while $50 is a lot of money is it worth being unemployed?

    Answer by bubblycute at 2:21 AM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • See and that is what I thought, but my husband insisted that they couldn't just debit the money out of my check and also that if they did fire me, it would be without cause. He was encouraging me to not pay it back. I am unable to cash out my own drawer. It has to be done by a manager, requiring special keys and codes that I do not have access to. Also, I cannot get out my own drawer as they are locked up in the safe that I cannot access.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:28 AM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • In some states, your employer doesn't have to have a REASON to fire you at all. If you live in an "at will" state, you couldn't contest them firing you, but you could contest having to pay back the money.

    Answer by Silvertears1275 at 7:34 AM on Dec. 2, 2008