While you can set a policy that deducts from' wages if they damage or lose company equipment, don't extend that policy to or you'll risk their exemption status.
Exempt employees must receive their full, predetermined salary, "not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of work." Some exceptions are allowed, such as full-day deductions for safety violations. But a Labor Department opinion letter says, "None of the exceptions contemplates charging employees a fine for damage to or loss of company equipment."
Go to www.dol.gov/esa/whd/opinion/.htm, click on FLSA2006-7.