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Is it legal for employers to require employees to pay back cash-register shortages?

John Peaspanen


Q. Is it legal for employers to deduct or require employees to pay back shortages or errors in a cash drawer that work for convenient stores, hotels, bars, etc.?

A. Given the information you provided, it appears to be legal.

Wilmington City Attorney Bill Wolak told us that NC General Statute 95-25.8 (b) outlines the standards by which an employer may withhold a portion of an employee’s wage.

According to Wolak, “Generally, an employer may withhold or divert a portion of an employee’s wages for cash shortages, etc., only after giving the employee written notice of the amount to be deducted seven days prior to the payday on which the deduction is to be made.”

As city attorney, Wolak is precluded from private practice of law, including the providing of legal advice to any private party. He said, “I suggest that the individual who has asked this question consult with an attorney for a more specific answer to their particular situation.”


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