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Thread: opinions or legal advice wanted!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan

    opinions or legal advice wanted!!!

    here is what happened 2 weeks ago we the workers of my small shop was told that if there were anymore mistakes made that it would be taken out of our checks,,well monday the pressman printed a job in the wrong color it was ok'd by the supervisor and he signed it being ok the pressman then after runnign the full job noticed that it was done in the wrong color therefore being junk.. well yesterday he got to rerun it on his own time all day. and the supervisor said he had to pay for the paper the supervisor that is... so now for the ? is that legal to make a employee pay with working for free? or charge the supervisor for the paper these rules were handed down by the company owner who of course never makes mistakes noooot! thanks for the replys and (jim delany) i would appreciate your take on this.. thanks
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    LOML's brother had to let a guy go. Really nice guy and tried really hard but just kept making expensive mistakes (custom injection mold manufacture). The guy said he would pay for any future mistakes if he could keep his job. This was checked into and the business' legal-eagle said "no can do", the company would get themselves in hot water if that got out. Second hand in SoCal for what its worth.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
    I'd be surprised if he could be forced to work for free. A suspension or a warning might be legal but I don't think they can do what they did. In NY wages must be payed within a specific time. I would call the department of labor.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Not sure how my name got into your post, 'cause I'm sure not an expert on employment law!

    My personal take, though, is that it sure should be illegal to make them pay for it - either in time or money. If it were a union shop, I'm absolutely sure he couldn't get away with it.

    When I did run an office - in SoCal - several years ago, I did give warnings to my employees, and did fire a couple for non-productivity. Mistakes, though, I attributed to lack of sufficient supervision - MINE! - and I ate the cost, including paying the employees as they re-did the job.

    Again, this is my personal take on this, and how I personally handled similar situations. It is not a legal opinion!
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie
    Make a phone call to your Department of Labor. They will know. The rest of us would just be guessing.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.

    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Plainwell, Michigan


    Larry, the same thing is happins at my place, you know where that is! we are personally responsible for the percentage of rework (makeovers due to employee error) within our company, ie: 30% , for example, error (makeover) equals 30% off of cost of living or raise for the year. Say at that percentage your should recieve a 3% cost of living raise and you are responsiable for 30%0verall company error, you only get 2% raise instead of 3%, 1/3 less than the amount the company may be giving overall! Ya SUCKS! This thought process is intended to raise awareness and help lowering internal/external error at the cost of employees not at the cost of the corporation. Also it does not matter the level of knowledge (expertise) or years of experience (33.5 years at the same company) Ya I have a lot of years here! If I take more complex jobs (of which I do) % of co-workers that take less complex jobs% does not matter! I know more than others but can lose because of taking on more complex jobs than others, more chance of error?

    dang, lets talk, I can for hours


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Plainwell, Michigan
    Larry, also even if our customers are sent .pdf's (portable document format) files for approval, and they approve them, we are still held accountable for errors, even if they are customers error and we did not notice them!

  8. #8
    If your pal identified to his superior that the "ink was wrong" and was given the OK to continue... Did he get a written document? If not then it is his word against the other... Guess who looses? Yes, the super wins your buddy looses. AS for who has to pay, Got a union? If not then Pound salt. I are not a Union advocate but there are times when they are useful. Seeems your buddy got screwed (right up the old wazoo) but his fault for doing the job when he knew it was bad... get a write off when you face such a matter... Documents place the blame.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway
    "Got a union? If not then Pound salt."

    Truer words were never spoken. This is exactly why unions were invented. The practice you describe is certainly not a good one, but it's likely your state board of labor is the only body that can rule on its legality, and they likely can't do much unless one of the workers files a complaint. Course, if someone complains, someone is likely out of a job... another reason unions were invented.

    Joe Hill, where are you when we need you?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Villa Park, CA
    I am not an attorney but I remember reading a case that had the same issues. I remember the ruling was that a company cannot charge an employee for mistakes, no matter how incompetent the employee is. Their only recourse is to fire the employee or take other disciplinary (or training) actions.

    They can use employee performance, including mistakes, when awarding bonuses or raises but cannot take from an employee's existing salary or make the employee work hours for free.

    But then there's the issue of keeping your job. If the employee doesn't think s/he can easily get another job, they might have to do what's necessary to keep the one they have. A good thing to do is to keep a careful and accurate record of the unpaid work, or of the salary deductions, along with any proof that unpaid work was done, and present a bill for it if the person is fired or otherwise let go (or even quits).

    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

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