Damage to your trucks/equip

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bigjeeping, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Just wondering how you guys handle things when your employees:

    1) Damage your equipment
    2)Damage your vehicles
    3) Get tickets (written to the company)

    Obviously I am talking about situations which are accidental.

    In Michigan it is legal to make your employees pay for things they damage as long as you have the policy in a signed employee agreement. But who wants to work for a company that is going to make you pay for accidents?

    I don't think its fair that employees seem to suddenly be released from all responsibility when they're using your truck/equip. If you're paying them good money to mow lawns, and providing them with excellent tools to get the job done, then they should be responsible for the use of these tools you've given them (trucks, mowers, trimmers, everything).

    I also think that while they are using your trucks/equipment, they should be responsible for any tickets they get. Clearly I'm not talking about having them pay for a ticket because you don't have your annual D.O.T. inspection when they happened to get pulled over. I'm talking about tickets for failing to secure the load, not carrying their medical card, etc.

    What do you guys think?

    My first year in business one of my workers hit a blue water main with the push mower, which shattered some parts on it. It was a stupid stupid mistake because the water main was clearly visible, painted blue, and raised 5" off the ground. He paid the $300 repair.

    Years later I don't think I would ask an employee to pay that bill, but I'm also not sure how I would react because it hasn't happened since.. .what would you do?

    Earlier this season, one of my workers got 3 tickets all written to the company, and I decided to split the $600 cost 50/50 with him. What would you do here?
    Failure to secure load (his fault), fire-extinguisher wasn't PERMANENTLY secured (my fault, but also BS), and no medical card (his fault).
  2. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    This has been discussed at length here and a search will disclose most if not all the answers you seek.

    That said, it's all "YOUR" responsibility no matter what happens... !!

    You can't "legally" charge back or hold your employees responsible for anything that happens at work. If they do something illegal, then the police will deal with them, otherwise if you charge them $$ for damages, it's you that's in the wrong.

    It's just that easy.

  3. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    This is Manitoba.

    What types of things cannot be deducted from employees’ wages?

    Employers cannot deduct the costs of:

    * vehicle, equipment and tool repair or loss
    * breakage or other damages
    * faulty work or poor quality work
    * Theft, including dine-and-dash incidents
    * cash shortages
    * inventory shortages
    * safety equipment
    * uniforms and special clothing required by employers
    * business supplies
    * interest charges or other fees for cash advances or cashing cheques
    * education expenses that only benefit the employer
    * any other deductions that are of no direct benefit to the employees

    Back to top
    Can employers take any deductions from employees’ wages?

    Employers can deduct:

    * statutory deductions
    * court orders or garnishments
    * charges for board, lodging and meals as permitted under The Employment Standards Code
    * recovery of pay advances and corrections of payroll errors
    * the minimum amount payable by the employer for a red light or photo radar ticket with the employee’s written permission:laugh:
    * any other deduction agreed to by employees as long as it directly benefits the employees
  4. texpro

    texpro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    bigjeeping i just eat it no matter what except the tickets i think its there responsibility speeding is no accident its a choice
  5. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    I have an employee " or had" that couldn't start anything......

    I have showed him how many times..... he just didn't get it..... I would come around the corner when he was suppose to be blowing off everything and he's still trying to start the blower with the on off switch turned to off....
    he would ruine the starters on everything.... pulled out ropes on brand new weereaters and the entire nine yards..... hell of a worker.... but just couldnt start anything......

    had to let him go because he was costing me too much money.....
  6. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    I had a similar guy this spring.

    He could never start the backpack blower (i never let him trim), he would always set it on the ground. So I told him to keep it on the tail gate of the truck so it was easier. Even when I would start it for him he couldn't get it on. It's blowing and he would spin in a circle trying to get the 2nd arm strap. I swear to GOD, one time he had the backpack blower on backwards. I mean the outside of the blower was against his back, where the pull cord is and the gas tank are. It was riding very high and holding his arms up in an unnatural position.

    Now I call him just to deliver flyers.
  7. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    My guy is a heck of a labor, I mean when it comes to picking up limbs from trimming trees he just cant be beat.... he can unload the trailer like superman and keep going all day,,,,, he simply wa costing me too much...

    I hate being put in this situwation........
  8. irocz106

    irocz106 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    I don't get it. He worked too hard, so you fired him?
    Send him my way. Victoria is beautiful.
  9. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    His point was, you can't fix stupid. Well, at least that was my point.
  10. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    I don't charge my employees for damages, equipment breakages, etcc. However, my son, who is a crew leader burned a hole in the driver's seat of a new chevy p/u. I charged him a hundred dollars damage. I want him to feel a little pain. He didn't even tell me about it.

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