+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 36
Like Tree7Likes

Thread: Employer threatens to make us pay for mistakes

  1. #16
    commentator is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    4,545
    A cursory reading of Colorado's wage and hour information page and statutes gives the strong feeling that this would be something they'd find not kosher. As I said, at $9 an hour, a very few dockings or finings or whatever you choose to call it would result in the person not being paid at least minimum wage for the hours worked. And this is not going to be legal. Whether they call it docking your salary or whether they call it a "fine" or a fee or whatever, it's not a good idea. The employee could go along with it, but the minute that hours worked times salary in gross pay falls below the minimum wage, (even if this pay cut is based on fines or monies assessed or penalities) the employer is hanging out there not paying the employees what they are supposed to. Something both stupid and risky on the part of the employer. I really think this employee should be looking for another job diligently. Unless the error rate is on beyond the realm of reasonable, this employer is simply trying to threaten the employees.

    For example, I once worked at a business where we were told that if we accepted a counterfeit bill for payment, our paycheck would be docked for the amount of the counterfeit bill we had accepted. For example, a counterfeit $20, a $50, a $100, that amount would be taken from our pay. We got together and called the federal wage and hour division, and were told that this was definitely illegal. Of course, we were making minimum wage already. It never came up, so we never pushed it on through or filed a complaint, but it was strongly motivational for us to watch the bills we received, I must admit.

    True, you can be fired for making mistakes, but "totally error free work " is a criteria that is very unrealistic. It probably would not be judged to be misconduct unless the employer has given repeated warnings and the employee has ignored them, continued to make a high level of errors. I have seen many employees who had been fired because they "ruined a $6000 piece of equipment" or cost the company money through their inefficiency in some way, and most of them, since the employer could not show DELIBERATE malicious intent, were approved for benefits.
  2. #17
    mashley80 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    14
    Thank you for your responses. I was not the only person who had this threatened to. I believe I try to do my job the best of my ability and check for mistakes. However, I am human and this happens on occasion and our software system isn't perfect. I work 25 hours a week and have been employed there for 4 months, hence I am still learning some.
    It seems as though everyone agrees that in colorado this is not legal. We have a department meeting in early June when they are supposed to announce this policy. My question is, should I report them now or wait? Also, in the meeting should I address that I am not okay with this? I plan on looking for another job, but I want to protect myself in case I am fired for this. Thank you all do much.
  3. #18
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    51,481
    You can't report something that may, or may not, happen at some indefinite point in the future.
  4. #19
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    33,439
    My question is, should I report them now or wait?

    I addressed this in my post above. There has been no violation until someone is actually fined. Right now there is nothing to report. You can't file a complaint about something that hasn't happened yet and may never happen.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  5. #20
    commentator is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    4,545
    Right now, why don't you call the Colorado Wage and Hour division of the Department of Labor and ask them all about this? This is not reporting anyone, it's just asking the specific questions to the people who are very likely to know. You don't have to give them your name or the name of the employer in order to do this.

    Being fired for anything concerning this issue is far out in your future, even if they do put this policy in place. However, if they go through with it, have the big meeting and announce they are going to do it, and then actually go forward with the penalties, I'd do whatever it is that the Colorado wage and hour division has suggested you do, which I suspect would be that they'd tell you at that point to file a complaint.
  6. #21
    Betty is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Il.(near StL, Mo.)
    Posts
    3,299
    This is what Co. says about wage deductions:

    An employer may not make any deductions from an employee's wages for:
    - cash shortages,
    - damaged or lost property,
    - the cost of uniforms or necessary equipment,
    - dishonored or bad checks, or
    - any similar deductions.

    An employer may not withhold or deduct any wages from an employee's paycheck, unless:
    (a) the deduction is mandated by or in accordance with local, state, or federal law including,
    but not limited to, deductions for taxes, garnishments, or any other court-ordered deduction;
    (b) the deduction is for loans, advances, goods or services, and equipment or property
    provided to an employee pursuant to a written agreement, so long as it is enforceable and
    not in violation of law;
    (c) the deduction is necessary to cover the replacement cost of a shortage due to theft by an
    employee if a report has been filed with the proper law enforcement agency in connection
    with such theft pending a final adjudication by a court of competent jurisdiction; however, if
    the accused employee is found not guilty in a court action or if criminal charges related to
    such theft are not filed against the accused employee within 90 days after the filing of the
    report with the proper law enforcement agency, or the charges are dismissed, the accused
    employee is entitled to recover any amount wrongfully withheld plus interest.
    (d) Any deduction not listed above which is authorized by an employee if such authorization
    is revocable including, but not limited to, deductions for hospitalization and medical
    insurance, other insurance, savings plans, stock purchases, voluntary pension plans,
    charities, and deposits to financial institutions;
    (e) A deduction for the amount of money or the value of property that the employee failed to
    properly pay or return to the employer upon separation from employment. An employer has
    ten calendar days after the termination of employment to audit and adjust the accounts and
    property value of any items entrusted to the employee before the employee's wages or
    compensation is paid.
    Colorado Stat. 8-4-105

    It's not real clear if the OP is talking about ded. from check or paying in cash..seems policy is supposed to be discussed/announced in an upcoming meeting. I'm not sure this will fly & have to watch min. wage/overtime.

    Agree that the OP should contact the Co. "DOL" & run the question by them.

    Federal law: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs16.pdf
    Re deductions to benefit employer - no deduction may be made from an employee's wages which would reduce the employee's earnings below the required minimum wage or overtime compensation. Employers may not avoid FLSA minimum wage and overtime requirements by having the employee reimburse the employer in cash for the cost of such items in lieu of deducting the cost from the employee's wages.
    Last edited by Betty; 05-10-2012 at 07:29 PM.
  7. #22
    AJStarr is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    24
    This isn't legal in ANY STATE.

    I called the Federal Labor Board on this exact issue a few weeks back.

    Your employer may NEVER deduct ANYTHING from your paycheck for ANY reason.

    PERIOD.
  8. #23
    eerelations is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Feels like Mars sometimes.
    Posts
    4,647
    Quote Originally Posted by AJStarr View Post
    This isn't legal in ANY STATE.

    I called the Federal Labor Board on this exact issue a few weeks back.

    Your employer may NEVER deduct ANYTHING from your paycheck for ANY reason.

    PERIOD.
    If you'd taken a minute to read the OP's original post and question, you would have learned that THIS ISN'T ABOUT PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS.

    A word of advice to you: learn to read before you continue to embarass yourself here. PERIOD.

    (BTW - you couldn't have called "the Federal Labor Board" - there's no such entity.)
  9. #24
    AJStarr is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by eerelations View Post
    If you'd taken a minute to read the OP's original post and question, you would have learned that THIS ISN'T ABOUT PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS.

    A word of advice to you: learn to read before you continue to embarass yourself here. PERIOD.

    (BTW - you couldn't have called "the Federal Labor Board" - there's no such entity.)
    Don't care, they're still not allowed to do it, whether it comes from checks or cash. There's no reason to nitpick and act like a snob, it's not legal, as I have said... I spoke to the DOL recently.

    FYI, around here we call the State Labor Board "State" and the national "Federal" because it shortens them out. You knew exactly what I meant, and there is no reason to take an attitude over it.
  10. #25
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    33,439
    We go for accuracy around here, pal. If you mean the DOL, SAY the DOL. And again, this is not about payroll deductions. Did you ask the DOL specifically about paying for mistakes when it's not done by payroll deductions? And of course, you can show us the Federal law that makes it illegal when it's not a payroll deduction?
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  11. #26
    eerelations is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Feels like Mars sometimes.
    Posts
    4,647
    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    We go for accuracy around here, pal. If you mean the DOL, SAY the DOL. And again, this is not about payroll deductions. Did you ask the DOL specifically about paying for mistakes when it's not done by payroll deductions? And of course, you can show us the Federal law that makes it illegal when it's not a payroll deduction?
    Mr. Starr, if you want any kind of credibility around here, it would behoove you to (at the very least):

    [LIST=1][*]get your terminology straight; and[*]stop lying - I don't believe for one second that you asked this mysterious "Labor Board" specifically whether it's legal for an employer to expect employees to pay for mistakes they make via some method other than payroll deductions. (And if this isn't a lie, then some of your other posts are lies.)[/LIST]
  12. #27
    las365 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,926
    Your employer may NEVER deduct ANYTHING from your paycheck for ANY reason.

    PERIOD.
    Good grief. This may take the prize as the most IDIOTIC, dead WRONG answer in the employment law forum, EVER.

    PERIOD.
    Proserpina likes this.
  13. #28
    commentator is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    4,545
    Quote Originally Posted by AJStarr View Post
    Don't care, they're still not allowed to do it, whether it comes from checks or cash. There's no reason to nitpick and act like a snob, it's not legal, as I have said... I spoke to the DOL recently.

    FYI, around here we call the State Labor Board "State" and the national "Federal" because it shortens them out. You knew exactly what I meant, and there is no reason to take an attitude over it.
    Stand back everyone, I spoke to the DOL recently myself. They send me checks sometimes! Don't know where Mr. Starr is from, actually, but there is a Labor Relations Board in most states. For some reason, people have the misconception that this entity is there to discipline all employers and inform all workers of their rights. "I'm takin' them to the Labor Board!" is an oft heard quote.

    The problem is, they only deal with union facilties. I'm sure there is a Federal Labor Board, likewise involved with unionized facilities. There is also a Federal Wage and Hour unit, and most states also have one, connected with the state's Department of Labor/Workforce/ whatever they call this particular department.
    Last edited by commentator; 05-13-2012 at 06:18 PM.
  14. #29
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    33,439
    It's called the National Labor Relations Board.

    But it would not have anything to do with what Mr. Starr claims he discussed with them. That would be the United States Department of Labor.

    As I pointed out elsewhere, he evidently expected us to guess which one he was speaking to.
    Proserpina likes this.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  15. #30
    Jwd
    Jwd is offline Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    41
    I would act as if I were completely fine with the "policy" and was willing to pay. But before I handed over my money I would require that the policy be put in writing, signed by the "boss", and that I was provided with a receipt. If they provide such paperwork, then you would have some evidence of the policy to use against the company in any future procedings.

    If they refuse to provide such paperwork, then you can always refuse to pay. Looks like a no-win situation- pay an unfair "mistake tax" and lose money that you can't afford to lose OR refuse to pay and face possible termination. Getting documentation seems to me to be your only protection. Don't expect other employees to back you up in any future legal procedings. Fear of termination can be a powerful thing.

Similar Threads

  1. Trying to make up for mistakes...Anything I can do?
    By JJCANIS in forum Child Custody & Visitation
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 07-31-2009, 08:07 AM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-12-2008, 06:38 AM
  3. Man threatens to make me felon for alleged theft. Totally planted.
    By Pro per in forum Other Crimes Federal and State
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-05-2005, 09:32 PM
  4. Man threatens to make me felon for supposed theft. Totally planted.
    By Pro per in forum Arrests, Searches, Warrants & Procedure
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-04-2005, 10:50 AM
  5. employer's mistakes on paychecks
    By bhw in forum Wage & Salary Issues
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-16-2005, 05:12 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.