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Employees Damaging Things

Discussion in 'Employment' started by azlandshapes, May 22, 2020.

  1. azlandshapes

    azlandshapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    We have all had this issue. Employees come back w a truck that damaged or they damage a clients property. It’s always a mistake and ****, mistakes happen. Well....

    my guys went out to a house to remove a plant from a pot in an atrium and in the process of removing the pot itself did some damage to the door frame and door of a very expensive home. same guy had 4 bags of sand fall in a tail gate last month (he paid for 1/3 of a used replacement) and screwed up the tail gate beyond use.

    What’s the recourse?
  2. OP

    azlandshapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    Is it illegal to make people help you pay for repairs? There’s not a lot of options here

    you fire a guy reprimand him make him pay for damages?
    jetson likes this.
  3. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,343

    Not illegal as long as he agrees to it. And his pay can't fall below minimum wage.

    Some of it is training, some of it is carelessness caused by an inability to think. I've had more than my share of guys that could break anvils. I terminate them and the damages stop. But there has to be a pattern.

    Had one guy plowing for me that cost me more than the income--NOT PROFIT--from the whole route. Some of the damage wasn't reported until later so I didn't fire him in time.
  4. Crazy 4 grass

    Crazy 4 grass LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,421

    If accidents are repeatedly happening with the same person involved.... it's probably going to continue
    kemco, Cam15 and sjessen like this.
  5. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,428

    @Mark Oomkes
    Not completely on the topic here, but just curious if you're familiar with this guy since he's in your neck of the woods/state.
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,343

  7. JagT20N

    JagT20N LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from will county Il
    Messages: 783

    depending on YOUR state labor laws for repayment or restitution for damages each vary , In Illinois its illegal to withhold or make the employee pay any of the costs unless it was done intentionally or willfully ( which is hard to prove , as the state makes you carry insurance for that reason ) , if your a at will state you can let the employee go for no reason , just tell him hes not needed , wait a a week and hire a replacement and your safe as you do not have to hire him back . but then you might have to fight the unemployment claims .. often it was just easier and cheaper to let them go and not fight the UI claim .
    zlandman and Jeff@diyokc like this.
  8. grass man 11

    grass man 11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    Hate me if you wish. Employees make mistakes, that’s why they are not business owners. You make big money when things go well and your open to big expenses when things do not. Asking an employee to pay for an honest mistake is dirty and low unless it was intentional. Fire the guy, write them up, delay a future pay raise, but asking them to pony up isn’t right unless your also giving them a cut if the profits. I know lots of employees that leave jobs for reasons like this.
    kemco, Cam15, BrandonV and 5 others like this.
  9. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,504

    Leave a job for what?
    Being asked to be responsible and accountable?
    Is that not what they are being paid for in the first place?
    Do you often pay for things and not expect what you paid for?

    well I paid for 5 gallons of gas at the pump but only got 3 it’s ok la de da

    the problem is there’s zero way to make the employee accountable
    They don’t learn and grow if they aren’t affected
    It’s like a dog
    If he craps on your rug you can’t rub his nose in it a week later.
    The employee doesn’t equate not getting a raise due to their mistakes, they think your stingy because that thing the damaged, that was last week... what about this week, this week is when I want my raise.
    Then they just go to the next company and pull the same behavior there.
    Round and round it goes, because the government refuses to allow any accountability.
    Why are there so many felons?
    No accountability

    no one just robs a bank someday or arbitrarily drives by a house full of people they don’t like and hoses it with bullets ... these things escalate
    The minor things aren’t handled
    They become more brazen
    Delayed discipline isn’t working
    Then kaboom

    if it’s not happening in society it’s in your business or maybe both.

    Where does it end?
    Well he got what he deserved once he gets arrested, right?
    He gets a vacation with a bed, private security, a personal nanny to wake him up come meal times and three hot well balanced meals a day he doesn’t pay for himself, you do.
    That and endless free healthcare.

    tie everything to someone’s paycheck and all of the sudden they’re Joan of friggin arc! the pope himself would canonize him where he stands.

    money talks

    why do you think so many people 1099 their employees?
    It’s illegal
    But it’s effective.
  10. JagT20N

    JagT20N LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from will county Il
    Messages: 783

    being we are in a disposable society ( which includes seasonal labor ) you can't really use the keep records and use them at review time because often the person leaves when winter hits , Just remember not to hire them next season or ever again , Just remember it if they come asking for a raise . if they don't like it you might be better off .

    as for the 1099 bit , careful... talk to your attorney about it , as in my old industry after Fed ex thought they could do it with the independent contract drivers , its a tricky thing and many companies are getting turned in when the "employees " find out when taxes are filed and they have to pay the FICA and Extra taxes and fines , happened to several small companies around here ( not trucking either ) and the Fed ex case was the precedent and the companies ( many Sole propritors and LLC ) got big fines and had to reimburse the differences .
    hort101 likes this.

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