Spa Employee Forced To Pay $50 Out Of Her Pocket After The Cash Register Came Up Short At The End Of The Day

She is now questioning the legality of her employer's actions.

spa employee, register Taras Grebinets / Shutterstock

At the end of her shift, a spa employee noticed that the register was $50 short. She insisted she did not give any customers the incorrect amount of change, and she did not pocket the money herself, but she was forced to cover the missing expense.

Now, she is asking what she can do to get her money back.

The spa employee was forced to pay $50 out of her own pocket after the register came up short at the end of the day.

The employee took to the subreddit r/antiwork to share her frustrating experience. The woman, who works at a “high-volume luxury day spa in New York,” revealed that every employee is given their own login to the computer system while using the cash register since they often switch departments throughout the day.


One evening, at the end of her shift, the woman discovered that the register came up $50 shorter than it should have.

cash register frankval / Shutterstock

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“After inspecting my cash receipts everything was correct on my end,” the woman reported.

Still, the woman was forced to pay $50 out of her own pocket to cover the missing money after her shift lead instructed her to do so.

“I either miscounted and gave someone extra (which I REALLY am positive that I did not do as I had small bills today and always double-check), or the actual register miscounted and therefore resulted in someone getting extra change,” the woman shared.

woman paying at spa antoniodiaz / Shutterstock


While anxious to get her money back, she was hesitant to speak up against management and risk losing her job. “I spoke with my actual manager on duty, and she let me know they will [be] reviewing camera footage and will do an ‘investigation’ and possibly refund me,” the woman wrote.

The woman is now questioning the legality of her shift lead’s actions. 

Many people agreed that it was ludicrous that the woman was forced to cover the drawer shortage, considering that it very well could’ve been a computer error.

When the other shift leads learned that the woman was forced to pay $50 due to the drawer shortage, they were mortified and claimed that if they had been there, she would still have her money.

spa employee standing with arms crossed SimpleFoto / Canva Pro


Commenters were equally as surprised. “If they want to accuse you and get repayment for losses, they need to establish the evidence of fault in court. Nothing should come out of your pocket until a judgment is entered; they're not entitled to act on their own,” one Redditor commented.

“Take your money that was stolen from you directly from the register and walk out. [Expletive] that employer and find somewhere else,” another user urged.

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Others pointed out that forcing an employee to pay for a drawer shortage is illegal in New York State.

“The Department of Labor states it’s illegal to make employees pay for mistakes unless the employees sign that they agree to do so. Forcing the employee to pay for mistakes will open the company to legal action,” one user wrote.


As Code 195-4.5 subsection (d) states, “Repayment of employer loses; including for spoilage and breakage, cash shortages, and fines and penalties incurred by the employer through the conduct of the employee.”

“Consult an attorney and sue them. They have no ground to stand on,” the user added.

Mistakes are bound to happen at work. You could give the wrong change to a customer without either of you realizing it, you could log something incorrectly on the register, or anything that involves human error.


Making a mistake does not give your employers the right to take money from your pocket. 

spa employee, phone hedgehog94 / Shutterstock

There is nothing to prove that the spa employee stole, handed out the wrong amount of change, or if there was a register error.


Suppose the manager needs to launch an “investigation” before giving the woman her money back. In that case, they should investigate all of the employees who were working that day instead of solely blaming the woman.

No matter what their investigation concludes, no employee should have to hand over the money they worked hard for because of a register error.

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.