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pay deduction for missing item Texas

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  • pay deduction for missing item Texas

    I work for a dentist in Texas. We use a dental lab for dentures, partials, crowns, etc. Actually we have three or four labs we use. All have different means of picking up & delivering cases to us. We are a small practice & there are not that many cases to keep up with. We are closed on Mondays (most labs open Mon closed Fridays). So this leaves two days a week that we do not have communication with our labs. Some cases are left next door to our suite at a office that is open so the lab can pick up cases. Anyhow, recently a case is missing, someones partial denture. The lab says they never received it. We do not have a tracking system in place for these cases yet, but are now working on it.We can't prove the lab picked up the case. But in the meantime, our boss said that he won't seek financial restitution from us "this time", but if it happens again, he will. So in other words he is going to make us pay for that persons denture? ($1226?). Can he do this? We have no written policy regarding this, we have signed nothing, we don't even have a tracking system, and this lab has lost one other case 3 years ago for which the lab paid for replacement. This is twice for this same lab, never has happened with our other labs. We only have three employees, 1 is the hygienst (so he left her out of the circle, not guilty by job description), the other is myself & his other assistant. His wife helps out up front, and she never takes responsibility for anything, even though she helps with everything. I have worked there for 10 years & have never been threatened like this before, or accussed of losing something. I feel if I speak up I will be let go. What can I do? But I am not about to pay for something that I know was left for the lab to get, and don't know where it went from there. Any advice on what I can say to my boss? I do understand his frustration, and we wouldn't gain a thing by letting something happen to this case, we are just as upset as he is, but I feel completely ran over for something out of my control.

  • #2
    An employer MAY hold an employee responsible for lost property. I agree not having a signed agreement or written policy is to your boss' detriment; but that does not negate his right to require the same. If push came to show and this became a matter of court, my best guess is that the boss would have difficulty supporting such a claim without documentation and/or proof of misconduct.

    You mention that your boss was upset. It's possible that he said this out of gest. My suggestion is to let it pass and give additional followup to assure that packages are picked up in accordance to your lab's schedule. You and your co-workers additional diligence will hopefully solve any issues that may exist on this.

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    • #3
      Having said that, however, Texas law requires written authorization to withhold from the employees' paycheck.

      61.018. DEDUCTION FROM WAGES. An employer may not
      withhold or divert any part of an employee's wages unless the
      employer:
      (1) is ordered to do so by a court of competent
      jurisdiction;
      (2) is authorized to do so by state or federal law; or
      (3) has written authorization from the employee to
      deduct part of the wages for a lawful purpose.

      Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 269, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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