Brandon, FL asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation and Employment Law for Florida

Q: can an employer force an employee to purchase a company provided laptop if there are damages?

One of my twins pulled my work laptop off the countertop in my kitchen and subsequently broke a few pieces of the external plastic frame. The computer still works, no screen damage, just external Plastic parts that need to be replaced. My employer is demanding that I buy the laptop from them and if I can “do whatever with regard to the repairs.”

2 Lawyer Answers
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Answered
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Before you let yourself get all worked up about having to purchase the laptop your children broke please know that Florida is an “at will” state, which means employers are free to hire, transfer, promote, demote, suspend, reinstate, fire and rehire employees for any reason at any time, i.e., “at will.” The only thing employers cannot do is make any of these employment decisions based upon an employee’s race, age, gender, disability, religion, marital status or national origin.

The price of the laptop cannot be worth losing your job, can it?

Bernard Crane
Bernard Crane
PREMIUM
Answered

A: The other side of the coin to the eloquent answer Mr. Minnick provided is that, Florida is an “at will” state, which means even if you DO pay the money for the laptop, the employer could still fire you the next day.

If you don't pay for the laptop and quit or get fired, and the employer tries to take the money out of your last paycheck, you would probably be able to make a claim gainst the employer with the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division

1 user found this answer helpful

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