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New Mexico-If an employee embezzles $$ can we deduct from her payroll?

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  • New Mexico-If an employee embezzles $$ can we deduct from her payroll?

    Employee quit midday - owe her approx 28 hours less taxes and fees for non-returned company property.... won't be a lot of $$ but she stole much more than she has coming from us. Is it legal to document the theft and give her a zero paycheck. Yes the police are going to arrest her and there will be criminal charges....many of them. This is in the state of New Mexico.

  • #2
    I wouldn't risk it. Legally, you owe her the wages, and I'm not 100% sure you can legally deduct for unreturned property, either, unless you have a signed authorization. This is a situation where you want to be on the high moral ground.

    A few years ago, my husband asked me this same question. One of his employees had admitted theft (by credit card) of a couple of thousand dollars - I forget the exact amount. I told him to pay the employee anyway. What the employee had done was a different issue from what the law requires you to do. The law requires you to pay the employee. The law does not set up an exception for when the employee steals from you. That's an entirely separate issue.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


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