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Damage By Employees

 
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:36 AM   #1
 
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Damage By Employees


Hello guys,

I hope some of you with more experience can advise me on this:

1. what do you do when your employee damages your equipment?
2. what do you do when your employee causes damage to your customer's property?

What I do now is pay out of my pocket for all expenses/reimbursing the customer, etc. when one of my employees spills paint on the carpet, doesn't clean the sprayer and it breaks and things like that.

Do I have to file a liability insurance claim when these accidents happen?
And can I make a deduction from the employee's paycheck to cover the expenses brought on by him?

Thank you,
Alex
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:14 AM   #2
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Re: Damage By Employees


Welcome to ct. small claims should be paid out of pocket, the ins co will make you pay by raising your rates for numerous claims. regarding employees, its called being the owner, if you backcharge your guys, and they think its unfair, they will even the score, (in there own way). its better to simply explain to them how seriously these mistakes hurt the bottom line, and if the company can not make what it needs, i will no longer be here, and they will be out of a job....Regards G...

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Old 10-06-2008, 12:04 PM   #3
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Re: Damage By Employees


Job accidents happen. If they happen often, it's usually not an accident, maybe not intentional but careless.
If your employees need to be told/shown how to protect rugs etc. and shown how to maintain the equipment properly, show them and explain as Gene said.
If through carelessness or willful conduct you are having these occurrences that is a different story.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:28 PM   #4
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Re: Damage By Employees


do you keep feeding the dog that continually bites you? If so then keep these guys working and making money off you. they knwo that they've got a job every morning and jobs these days are like towels on a paper towel roll, they'll just get another. I'd play games with their paycheck and make emsweat a little, tell them hard times have come since all the payouts of their stooopidity and they'll have to hold on till i get paid lool.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:41 PM   #5
 
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Re: Damage By Employees


Thanks for your input guys,

I'm just trying to create something like an employee handbook and I was wondering if such monetary deductions were legal.

A lot of employees (especially younger ones) just don't use their heads when working on a task, (and of course we teach and explain how things should be done every week at company meetings), plus they always know that they will get paid no matter what, so they don't seem to bother. I think if I let them know that from now on everyone is responsible for reimbursing customers/company for their own accidents, they will be more careful and pay more attention to what they do.
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:05 PM   #6
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Re: Damage By Employees


We had it checked over by attorney for legallity.

It has come to the attention of this company that many costly mistakes and accidents are
being made quite often as of late. These mistakes and accidents require the purchase of new materialsand man hours to repair. In order to not have to decrease any employees hourly rate, these expenses need to be recovered from somewhere.

Adept Home Repair has decided that if an employee
is found to be at fault of an accident or mistake, that could have been prevented and requires repair,the cost of said repair will be deducted from that employees pay.

The cost of the repair will be
calculated by the cost of the purchase of replacement materials plus the hourly rate of the employee who performs the repair. If an employee so chooses, they may have the opportunity to fix any repairs on their own time.

The at fault employee WILL NOT be paid for doing a repair. The employee
will also be responsible for the purchase of materials needed to perform the repair. We appreciate the hard work of our dedicated employees and hope that this will have our employees pay closer attention to the needs of the clients we are serving.
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Last edited by wizendwizard; 10-06-2008 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:23 PM   #7
 
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Re: Damage By Employees


In worker's handbook: Careless workmanship is grounds for termination. Can cover just about everything.
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:44 PM   #8
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Re: Damage By Employees


This may not answer your question about Employee handbooks but in my experience you need to stick to your rules no exceptions. I try and be a caring hardass. If the equipment isn't getting cleaned properly at the end of the day, then the thing gets broke down and completely cleaned first thing in the morning on their time. If there is paint spilled on carpet because someone didn't want to dig for the tarp at the bottom of the truck, they get to pay for the steam cleaner.

Accidents happen but carelessness is money out the window. Believe me when it hits their wallet they will clean the equipment at the end of the day.
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Old 10-06-2008, 02:46 PM   #9
 
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Re: Damage By Employees


I have seen incentive programs to the same thing. You give the employee's a slice of the profit up to a certain %. You will obviously have to know what your P/L looks like and cover all your costs. But there are always issues with anything you try.

Good Luck finding what works with your employees. It can be tricky sometimes.
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:24 PM   #10
 
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Re: Damage By Employees


in our case we have a demerrit system,I have been lucky i have had most of my guys for more than 6 years one of them started befor i took over the comp,from my dad he has been here 27 years and the system was his idea.3 strikes the first is a write up the 2nd is a pay dock and a write up and the third is dismissal from their job.it has workd real well over the years.once you dock some ones pay for damages then tell them next time is fired they will come to attention real quick and if they dont then they are not worth haveing any way.
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:17 PM   #11
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Re: Damage By Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by wizendwizard View Post
We had it checked over by attorney for legallity.

It has come to the attention of this company that many costly mistakes and accidents are
being made quite often as of late. These mistakes and accidents require the purchase of new materialsand man hours to repair. In order to not have to decrease any employees hourly rate, these expenses need to be recovered from somewhere.

Adept Home Repair has decided that if an employee
is found to be at fault of an accident or mistake, that could have been prevented and requires repair,the cost of said repair will be deducted from that employees pay.

The cost of the repair will be
calculated by the cost of the purchase of replacement materials plus the hourly rate of the employee who performs the repair. If an employee so chooses, they may have the opportunity to fix any repairs on their own time.

The at fault employee WILL NOT be paid for doing a repair. The employee
will also be responsible for the purchase of materials needed to perform the repair. We appreciate the hard work of our dedicated employees and hope that this will have our employees pay closer attention to the needs of the clients we are serving.
That's illegal everywhere as far as I know.
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:57 PM   #12
 
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Re: Damage By Employees


Things happen! I do not always think monetary rewards are the long term answer. They tend to make me feel good for immediate gratification.

I have considered having some nicer T shirts made, or different and unique from the eveyday gray. Along with some nice certificates from a word template and giving them in appreciation for certain goals. Employees may not admit it but they will hang it on there walls at home. The t shirt was an extra seven bucks and is something they have to seperate themselves. Most importantly it means something more to them. Not to mention a certificate or award can be put on an application in the future to help them. Winner of a "tool expertise" or "outstanding customer care" certificate could really do a lot of long term good and help keep money issues out of the picture.

As for charging them for damaged equip. That one scares me. I admit I have fantasized about it. I like the contracts above, my only input is along with a business or general attorney I recommend an attorney that deals in FLSA (federal labor standards act) from the prosecution side review it. The name of the game for me is cover my butt with what I put in writing. I wouldn't do it myself.

Just my .02 I hope this helps.

Last edited by Proud Plumber; 10-06-2008 at 05:07 PM. Reason: typing sucks
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:39 PM   #13
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Re: Damage By Employees


If it's an accident, let it go.
If it's an ongoing carelessness problem then you have a bigger problem,
you screwed up and hired the wrong employees.
Fix it by replacing them with the right employees.
As far as the specific damage, It doesn't matter.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:45 PM   #14
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Re: Damage By Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post
That's illegal everywhere as far as I know.
Yeah, it's illegal.

I've known many GC's who have tried to do it anyway, but it's not legal.

Accidents happen. It's a cost of doing business.

But if you have a guy who is majorly accident prone, either work on him to shape up, or find someone who will take care of your equipment.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:49 PM   #15
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Re: Damage By Employees


In kansas you cannot charge employees for mistakes-repairs nor can you make them fix it on their own time, but you can fire them.You could probably take it out of a performance bonus if you have such a thing,or x-mas bonus that is optional
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:54 PM   #16
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Re: Damage By Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by house bldr View Post
In kansas you cannot charge employees for mistakes-repairs nor can you make them fix it on their own time, but you can fire them.You could probably take it out of a performance bonus if you have such a thing,or x-mas bonus that is optional
Right. That's why if you have some sort of pay plan where part of their compensation is hourly and the other part is tied into something else, such as $50 for this, $50 for that... you can withhold the additional money legally.
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:25 PM   #17
 
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Re: Damage By Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post
Right. That's why if you have some sort of pay plan where part of their compensation is hourly and the other part is tied into something else, such as $50 for this, $50 for that... you can withhold the additional money legally.
As long as the period equals Min wages. In our world (trades) it most likely is way above min wages.

But in some cases of commisioned or piece work, a bad week for an associate can burn you down the road.

I know this not your point but it some cases it could hold true with withholding incentive monies.

I learned the FLSA the hard way.
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:57 PM   #18
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Re: Damage By Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by Proud Plumber View Post
As long as the period equals Min wages. In our world (trades) it most likely is way above min wages.

But in some cases of commisioned or piece work, a bad week for an associate can burn you down the road.

I know this not your point but it some cases it could hold true with withholding incentive monies.

I learned the FLSA the hard way.
Yep, you're right on all accounts. And I think you hinted at it, but in the trades somebody doesn't have to earn sub-minumum wage for it to be a deal breaker, minimum wage alone would be enough.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:58 PM   #19
 
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Re: Damage By Employees


thanks guys for your help.

In our company we pay 5 holidays and give a 1 week paid vacation after 1 year. Now if I want to "penalize" an employee for careless accidents, can I legally refuse to pay for those benefits (give him no holiday pay or no vacation, depending on how expensive the accident is)?

Does anybody know the answer to that?
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:40 PM   #20
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Re: Damage By Employees


Quote:
Originally Posted by painter123 View Post
thanks guys for your help.

In our company we pay 5 holidays and give a 1 week paid vacation after 1 year. Now if I want to "penalize" an employee for careless accidents, can I legally refuse to pay for those benefits (give him no holiday pay or no vacation, depending on how expensive the accident is)?

Does anybody know the answer to that?
This is from Ontario Canada, I am sure it's different.
It is the law here to pay for 9 statutory holidays,
and 4% vacation pay belongs to the employee.
Just a guess, but if you give something you can't take it back as penalty.
Think past the incident(s), find ways to solve your problems for good.
Punitive ways don't work. Getting your people to buy into your way of thinking works.
Just make sure your are confident of your way of thinking first.
This is a case of not being able to see the forest for the trees.

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Last edited by George Z; 10-08-2008 at 07:45 PM.
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