Baltimore, MD asked in Employment Law for Maryland

Q: Employee broke time clock screen, can he be made pay for an entire new time clock or just costs to fix the damages?

The employee came to work and because time clock would not accept his punch in, he smashed the screen. The time clock did not work afterwards. He was disciplined and received a written counselling for his actions and made pay restitution for damages. Now they come up with a cost to replace the entire time clock of $4000. Can they legally charge him for entire time clock or just the damages that he occurred to the clock screen. The employer temporarily replaced the screen with another old clock screen and the clock worked for staff to use. This showed that the entire clock was not damaged beyond use, so does he have to pay the entire cost of itemized due to just the damages? I am his Major and he is my Lieutenant. The time clock is old version and the charges are for a new updated version with laptop and software included.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen
  • Hunt Valley, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: The general rule is that actual damages are all that can be recovered- a fancy upgrade to a piece of equipment might not be in that category. But additionally, there are separate Maryland and federal laws regarding withholding pay from an employee (as opposed to demanding they pay).

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