Hey Compliance Warriors and HR Bosses!
In CA employers are not normally allowed to charge employees for broken equipment.
Read #2 here https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_deductions.htm
So, that covers a deduction. But, if you decide to require payment for the equipment outside of a deduction, the employee refuses and then you terminate them, you could also face a claim of wrongful termination.
CA considers non-malicious damages to business equipment to be the cost of doing business and frowns upon charging employees for such loss. This is why deductions are not allowed.
If you have a signed agreement that repayment for lost or damaged property will be required BEFORE the loss happened, you may have a case to pursue payment outside of a deduction. Even then, this will be a tough sell if the employee refuses to pay and you go to small claims court.
I hope this helps!
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