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An employee was caught stealing property from a customer of…

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An employee was caught...

An employee was caught stealing property from a customer of the company. It was also discovered that he drove the company vehicle to Florida for a family vacation. Employee is an at will employee. Is there any liability to the company for terminating the employee? Can they recoup or offset his wages for the mileage and depreciation of the vehicle?

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employee hourly or salaried? How many hours does the employee work each week?

Hourly he works 40 hours

Lawyer's Assistant: Has the employee talked to a FL lawyer about the wage-and-hour issue?

This is a Wisconsin based company. He took the car to Florida for a family vacation.

Submitted: 9 days ago.Category: Employment Law
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7/11/2018
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 9 days ago
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,395
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to answer your question.

The DOL has stated that deductions from wages are permissible under the Fair Labor Standards Act in circumstances where the employee has provably engaged in theft against the employer. However, the unusual wrinkle here is that the "theft" is not one of property or money, but rather one of "mileage." Thus, the employer is not offsetting a specific financial loss, but rather the hypothetical loss in value that will result from the additional mileage put on the vehicle that the employer will suffer at the time of a future sale.

So, COULD an employer deduct from earned wages to offset this type of theft? Yes, possibly. But whether that is worth the potential litigation, and testing the issue here, is another question.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications, and the information provided is not legal advice.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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