I’ve recently started working for a restaurant (which will be anonymous for now) in Virginia (U.S.A.) as a waiter. I’ve learned to enjoy it, but recently a customer left without paying. I looked around everywhere to see if I misplaced the tab somewhere, but couldn’t find anything. I asked my boss to see if she received their payment, but she didn’t. We both looked at all the receipts for that day, and couldn't find theirs. My boss then said if they didn't call in and pay within a week, I would be responsible to pay for their check.
Is this fair? It wasn’t my fault they left without paying, but my boss said it wasn’t her fault either. Is this policy different among restaurants? Is this even allowed? I’m assuming it isn’t allowed, as I don’t think it’s fair that the waiter should pay, so should I tell my boss anything?
UPDATE Thank you guys so much for all your responses. My conclusion is it is obviously not legal to make a waiter pay for a dine-and-dasher. Thankfully, the people held in question actually did pay, we just completely missed their payment in the receipts (they did not tip me though >:-( ). When I told my boss I did the research and she wasn't allowed to force me to pay, she told me she did not know that, and wouldn't do that again. Seems like we were able to resolve the problem briskly.