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
  • 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

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

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.