Mistakes at Work: Who Has to Pay?


We all make mistakes. But what if this happens at work? Can your employer force you to pay for a mistake at the cash register or if you break a few dishes?  

To Err Is Human…but what about mistakes at work?

Breakage or losses

As a general rule, you don’t have to reimburse your employer if you break or lose something supplied by your employer while doing your job.

Such losses are a normal part of doing business. An employer should expect things like this to happen and must assume the costs.

In addition, a clause in a contract saying that an employee must pay for such losses is illegal.

Errors at the cash

If you make an error at the cash register, your employer can ask you for a reimbursement. However, they must show that you caused the error.

Deducting Money From Your Paycheque

If your employer wishes to deduct money from your paycheque to cover a loss caused by your mistake, they can only do so with your written authorization.

Information Is Key 

If you have questions about your rights, or if you are having a problem with your employer, you can contact the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST). The CNESST will explain your rights and those of your employer.