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Loren
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Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  30 years of practice.
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Is it legal to withhold the cost of stolen fuel from an employees

Resolved Question:

Is it legal to withhold the cost of stolen fuel from an employees paycheck? I am having him sign a release of the funds.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Loren replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am JudgeLaw and I will do whatever I can to answer your question nd provide excellent service.

Before we begin, a bit more detail will be helpful p,ease.

Did the employee steal fuel or was fuel stolen while the employee was on duty?

Thank you.

JudgeLaw
Customer: replied 9 months ago.


The employee actually used a credit card to take a trip across country, he traveled from North Dakota to Colorado and then to Maine. The total of the fuel used was $1035.00 that was put on a company credit card.

Expert:  Loren replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

I am sorry to hear of your dilemma.   I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

The US and Colorado Dept of Labor are actually pretty strict about withholding debt or expenses from an employee's paycheck. If there was a "misuse" of a company credit card then a prior agreement, signed by the employee, would be required to withhold any expenses from his or her check.

If this was a case of actual theft then you could withhold the stolen amount from the check but only if the theft were reported to law enforcement.

Otherwise, your remedy is to pay the employee the wages owed and sue them for the repayment of the credit card expenses.

I am sorry. I realize this is not the answer you were hoping for. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I ask that you not penalize me for having to deliver less than favorable news.

It is my privilege to assist you. Let me know if you need further information.  I hope I have helped you beyond your expectations in the service I have provided to you.  I am here for you.

Please remember to rate my answer when our communication is completed so I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested.

If you feel the need to provide a low rating, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will happily answer your follow-up questions and assist you until I am able to explain the answer to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to your situation, so please do not penalize me for having to deliver bad news.

Thank you.

JudgeLaw
Customer: replied 9 months ago.


I do understand that there are strict guidelines regarding withholding funds from an employee's pay, thus the reason for contacting you with regard to this matter. However, the employee has agreed to sign a release giving the company permission to withhold the funds in exchange for no criminal charges being pursued. Will this be sufficient or will we need to pursue the charges?

Expert:  Loren replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for following up with me.

Such an agreement is not compliant. You would be better off paying the employee and having him give you a certified or cashier's check for fuel. Otherwise, you could also have him sign a note. Unless you are going to report this to the authorities, you can not legally withhold the amount from his pay without exposing yourself to liability.

I hope this clarifies the answer.

Thank you.

JudgeLaw
Customer: replied 9 months ago.


Thank you. You have answered all of my questions,

Expert:  Loren replied 9 months ago.
You are very welcome. I am happy to have been of service to you and hope you found that service no less than excellent.

Thank you.

JudgeLaw

If you have not already do so, please remember to leave a favorable rating so that I am paid for assisting you.
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19314
Experience: 30 years of practice.
Loren and 18 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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