What should employers do when employees break equipment?
The West Virginia Employment Law Letter provides some analysis. An excerpt:
No doubt about it, employee carelessness can be very costly for you. Some of the equipment you provide employees in today's high-tech world, such as laptop computers and BlackBerries, can be quite expensive.
Pay-docking policies, however, can create a lack of trust, anger, and resentment in your workplace. They also can breed secrecy. For example, if an employee thinks there would be a detrimental consequence for losing company property, he may be reluctant to report it. That could be extremely damaging to you if that missing piece of equipment contains confidential information.