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HELP: Am I responsible for a Bad Check? South Carolina

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  • HELP: Am I responsible for a Bad Check? South Carolina

    I work at a privately owned all year around produce store. Let me begin by stating in my handbook it was written that a cashier isnt allowed to take a check more than $50 and check number must be higher than 500. Two days ago I took a check from a customer who bought $54.12 worth of merchandise. At the time I was so busy I had forgotten that we were unable to take a check more than $50. Essentially I should I had the customer write a check for $50 and an additional check for $4.12. I did however check the check number which was 1181 and I wrote the customers drivers license number and the expiration date along with a telephone number.
    Upon receiving my paycheck today I was informed that he, my boss and store owner, thought that the check was suspicious due to the address and the check number being low is what he told me. He felt that the name of the street which was dreamland way was fake and that the check number was low meaning that the account was relatively new. He added up my time from last week and Deducted $54.12 from my check. His reasoning was that if the check came back bad that I would be held responsible. I may add that this place only excepts checks cash or food stamp cards no debit or credit cards can be used. Afterwords I checked the bag checklist we have posted at the register and neither the man or the woman on the check or on our list. How is this possible?
    He did to make the comment that I did not know at the time of the purchase that the check could've possibly been that but at the same time he's holding my pay. If this check does come back fraudulent he will take the $54.12 out of my paycheck how can he do this legally and if he can't what are ways that I can fight this? Might I add this is a small business with an owner operator who runs it and there are no corporate offices or district offices or any higher ups.
    If he dies.the $54.12 from my pay how can I make him pay me?

  • #2
    If he deducts the amount of the bad check from your paycheck, you file a complaint with the wage and hour division of your state's labor department. While the employer is not supposed to take such a deduction, you can be terminated for accepting bad checks, even unknowingly. I worked for a bank that fired tellers after the third back check, for examples.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!


    • #3
      Your state is not my state and I do not know what rules are specific to SC. I can say if we look at federal law (FLSA) only, this is a "for the benefit of the employer" type of deduction and would be legal only to the extent that minimum wage and overtime obligations are not effected. If we have a FLSA violation, then a federal wage claim is possible with federal DOL.

      State wage claims with SC DOL (assuming SC has a DOL), only works if SC considers this to be a wage violation. Some states do and some states do not. Perhaps another responder has a SC specific answer.

      Small claims court is always a possibility. That is largely a function of Common Law and not state statutory labor law. Might work, might not work.

      Agreed that termination for violating policy is a very real possibility.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


      • #4
        wage deductions SC -

        Deductions from Wages

        An employer may not withhold, deduct, or divert any portion of an employee’s wages unless:
        - permitted by state or federal law, or
        - the employer has given the employee written notice of the withholding or deduction at the
        time of hire, or
        - the employer has given the employee at least seven (7) days written notice of the
        withholding or deduction.
        South Carolina Stat. 41-10-40

        An employer must comply with the above requirements before deduction wages for :
        - shortages,
        - damages,
        - rent,
        - uniforms,
        - tools, or
        - any other necessary item.

        Uniforms, Tools, and Other Equipment Necessary for Employment
        South Carolina does not have any laws prohibiting an employer from requiring an
        employee to purchase a uniform, tools, or other items necessary for employment.

        Medical or Physical Exams, including Drug Tests, Required for Employment
        South Carolina does not have any laws prohibiting an employer from requiring an applicant
        or employee to pay the cost of a medical examination or the cost of furnishing any records
        required by the employer as a condition of employment.
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