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Ask the HR Expert — January 23, 2018

Toby Graham /
  • Categories: HR
Using Work Computer for Personal Use

Q: I have an employee who just quit her job. Previously, she was written up because I saw on our security cameras that she was using the computers for personal use, which is against our policy.

After she quit, I found time logs indicating hours of personal Internet searches and activity on her work computer.

Can I deduct this non-work time from her final paycheck?

A: No, you can’t legally deduct an employee’s personal use of a company computer on company time from his/her pay.
You will need to pay your former employee for all the hours she worked through her last day.

State laws may also determine how soon you need to pay an employee who has resigned. For example, Arizona state law requires you to pay an employee who has resigned no later than the next regular pay day after his/her resignation date.

Bottom Line:
Review your policy about employees’ use of company property and ensure all of your employees are aware of this policy. You can state that consequences of violating the policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including, termination.

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