Company policy on damaged truck/equipment...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by redoak77, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. redoak77

    redoak77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    What is your guys policy on employees who damages your truck or equipment. Do you make them pay for the repairs, or do you take the hit? One of my guys jackknifed the trailer into the truck while backing up the other day and i am kicking myself for not having a company policy on this already laid out.
  2. mslawn

    mslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from LA
    Messages: 483

    It is illegal to make them pay for it, you just gotta take the hit.
  3. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

  4. troblandscape

    troblandscape Guest
    Messages: 0

    I take dumb mistakes out of Christmas Bonuses,
  5. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,522

    The first one is on me in most cases. I say that because if they damage equipment badly enough, then it's a mandatory drug test. If they fail, then not only are they fired but wages are withheld to cover the deductable. I haven't had that happen......yet. Hope it never does.
  6. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    heres what i have for just that case.

    Attached Files:

  7. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Responses like this make me shake my head.
    It absolutely is not unlawful to make an employee pay for negligence or outright damage to equipment/vehicles.
    One does have to have a policy, either in writing (which is preferable) or a verbal guideline which will pass scrutiny by a Depart of Labor or Employment inquiry, should one arise.
    State employment laws vary to allowing a minimum of deductible coverage to out right replacement value.
    At a minimum, speak to the person responsible and determine why the accident occurred in the first place.
    Personally, I would drug test the employee as well.
    Unfortunately you have to take action on this immediately or the other employees may feel they are not responsible as well.
    Nip in the ass, very quickly, very hard and make the lesson painful.
  8. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,396

    i guess it comes down to you want them to stay or quit?...if they are a good employee then you dont make them pay for it, especially if it was something that has never happened before/an accident. Just two weeks ago a new hot head kid at work backed a 2wd F150 down an embankment and got it stuck there, had to take a backhoe in to lift the back end up while pulling on it with a tractor from the front. He didnt get paid for the day but extra hands is always hard to find nowadays so the company took the hit on replacing the back bumper.
  9. nmurph

    nmurph LawnSite Senior Member
    from ga
    Messages: 668

    here is the federal law-----------Federal Law: Yes, only so long as the deduction does not
    cut into the current minimum wage. For example: if the
    employee’s regular rate of pay is $6.00 per hour, the
    employer may deduct up to .85 cents per hour until the
    shortage/damage is repaid. The employer is not required
    to ask the employee’s permission to make this deduction
    under the Federal regulations.
    with some more reading i came to understand that you generally have to show that the damage was caused by willful intent to damage........acts of neglect or stupidity do not fall under this..........there is an assumed amount of damages that you are expected to absorb as an employer. some states do not allow any deductions for damages, regardless of the cause.
  10. mslawn

    mslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from LA
    Messages: 483

    Whatever. Withholding pay is a touchy subject, he has NO policy in effect AS HE STATED, so I assume it is illegal in his situation. He needs to check with HIS state DOL and see what the LAWS are there, as they will prolly differ from TX, unless you can school him on OHIO DOL laws.

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