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View Full Version : RI - pay docked due to acceptance of counterfeit bill


DKTBlackwell
11-18-2007, 01:24 PM
I work at a local restaurant and during a register transaction, I accepted a counterfeit $20 bill and neglected to use a counterfeit marker on the bill. The next day, my employer (the owner of the establishment; it is a franchise of a chain restaurant) lectured me on the subject and said he would be docking my pay due to lost profit (despite never mentioning any punishment for people accepting fake money). Instead of him taking it out of my pay, I elected to give him $20 from my pocket and he accepted it.

Since my paychecks at my job are already low, this was a surprisingly large financial hit as I pay weekly into my college tuition. Also since then, many people have told me that what he did reeked of illegality.

Is what my employer did illegal? And, if so, do I have any way of getting back that $20? It may seem meager, but for someone earning next to nothing, it's not good.

DontWannaLiveWithMama
11-18-2007, 01:51 PM
I work at a local restaurant and during a register transaction, I accepted a counterfeit $20 bill and neglected to use a counterfeit marker on the bill. The next day, my employer (the owner of the establishment; it is a franchise of a chain restaurant) lectured me on the subject and said he would be docking my pay due to lost profit (despite never mentioning any punishment for people accepting fake money). Instead of him taking it out of my pay, I elected to give him $20 from my pocket and he accepted it.

Since my paychecks at my job are already low, this was a surprisingly large financial hit as I pay weekly into my college tuition. Also since then, many people have told me that what he did reeked of illegality.

Is what my employer did illegal? And, if so, do I have any way of getting back that $20? It may seem meager, but for someone earning next to nothing, it's not good.

Had he deducted it from your paycheck, it's possible that it could have been illegal, but as you opted to pay it out of pocket, you're probably SOL.

On the upside, he could have fired you for failure to comply with policy (I assume there is a policy about using the bill detecting marker on $20's).

Granted, I could be wrong, but typically from what I've seen in hanging out here, for the most part, employers can pretty much get away with murder, especially if you act in a way that agrees with their action.

DKTBlackwell
11-18-2007, 02:04 PM
the place is so informal that even though i've worked there for a year, i still haven't been fully trained in everything i should know. i was never told about the counterfeit marker in my training, nor did it occur to anyone on the staff that we should use them until we actually figured out we'd gotten a 20. up until then, they were just another thing to write with (albeit awkwardly).

people take money out of the register and sign it off as a "loan", for instance. or, people just take money out of the register and don't sign it off as a "loan". they just sorta...take it.

there was no application and there's no real policies to the place. i figured that giving him the money from my pocket would pretty much screw me over, and i guess i shouldn't have done it.

DAW
11-18-2007, 02:12 PM
Federal rules on this subject are very loose, and an actual deduction might have been legal, subject to minimum wage and the "convience of the employer" restrictions.
http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/whd/whdfs16.htm

RI is not my state and I have no idea what the state rules on this subject (if any) are.

Betty3
11-19-2007, 12:54 AM
R I deductions from employee paychecks may only be made for certain statutorily defined purposes and with the written consent of employees. Permissible deductions include union dues, health & welfare funds, legal serv. funds, charities, stock and/or savings bond purchases, life & health ins., & payments to vanpool transportation systems provided participation isn't a condition of employment.

The employer could not deduct the money from your paycheck for the "error" you made according to the RI DOL (even if your pay didn't go below min. wage) but he probably could accept payment in cash & you did pay him. Your employer could certainly discipline you for your "error" up to & including firing you.

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