It is illegal for an employer to deduct money from an employee’s paycheck for, or make an employee pay for, an inadvertent error, cash shortage, or breakage. So a waiter at a restaurant cannot be docked pay for accidentally  dropping and breaking a plate. A cashier who makes an honest mistake and comes up short in the register is not required to “make up” the difference. Only when an employer can show the employee’s shortage or mistake was the result of dishonesty, willful misconduct, or gross negligence can the employer recover the loss.