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Who Pays??

Discussion in 'Stolen Equipment' started by brownsallseasonlandscape, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. brownsallseasonlandscape

    brownsallseasonlandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    Yesterday a crew was out mowing at two homes they are sperated by 3 or 4 other homes. The crew always parks the truck at the one farther from the intersection.(there is a city bus stop @ the intersection.) The weedeater on the crew always carries a blower and his trimmer. The trimmer was said to have been left in a mulch bed about 5 ft from the road and then forgotten.

    The crew return only appox. five minutes later and the weedeater was gone. They were then short a trimmer so our bosses wife drove appox. 25 min to meet the crew with a back-up from the office.

    The guy that was trimming was then asked to pay the company back for the purchase of a new trimmer at a lower than new rate due to the fact that the trimmer that was stolen was not new. The individaul asked if he could go to a pawn shop and get one and he was told what to get no problem, well the pawn shop had no srm260 echo so no luck. He then decided to argue the price I explained that two paid empolyees had to take time to fix the issue one to bring them the trimmer and one to go and purchase a new one. The new one will cost 300.00 so 175.00 seems fair. The employee offered to pay 150.00 but was told no and so he quit. No big deal I need to get rid of 5 more before leaf season. So long story short is this fair or should the entire crew pay. Keep in mind the house has plenty of hiding spots for a trimmer not all of the yard is in plain sight.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I am sorry, but what you are asking your employee(s) to do is against the law.

    You can blame it on their own irresponsible behavior,
    you can write them up for it, you may even fire someone over it,
    but you can not make them pay for it.

    I understand there exists a can of worms in this whole scenario as well, not only
    is it possible some employee might have availed themselves of a free trimmer,
    doubtful but possible, but this ex-employee could also head over to the unemployment office,
    now since he quit lets just hope it's all said and done...

    Entirely fair it isn't, not for either of you, such is life.
    Sorry man.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2008
  3. brownsallseasonlandscape

    brownsallseasonlandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    What is illegal about it?
  4. Horsepower Lawns

    Horsepower Lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 213

    All of it.

    Can an employer fine an employee and take it out of his or her paycheck?

    No. An employer is not permitted under Indiana law to fine an employee and deduct the amount from his/her pay.

    When can my employer make deductions from my paycheck?

    Indiana law requires three conditions to be met in order for a wage deduction to be valid. First, the agreement for the deduction must be in writing, signed by the employee, by its terms revocable at any time by the employee upon written notice, and agreed to in writing by the employer. Second, a copy of the deduction agreement must be delivered to the employer within ten days of its execution. Third, only certain categories of deductions are allowed, including: premiums on an insurance policy; contributions to a charitable organization; purchase price of bonds, securities or stock of the employing company; labor union dues; purchase price of merchandise sold by the employer to the employee; amount of loan made to the employee by the employer; contributions of the employee to a hospital service or medical expense plan; and payment to an employee's direct deposit account.

    If you believe your employer has made a deduction that does not fall within this criteria please view the Application for Wage Investigation. You may then fill out this application and mail it to the address in the upper right hand corner. Please be advised that the Indiana Department of Labor can only pursue claims of more than thirty dollars ($30.00) and less than six thousand dollars ($6,000.00).

    & that is just what I found in about 5min. looking. So if that person is sue happy you could be in trouble.
  5. Daily Lawn/Landscape

    Daily Lawn/Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 695

    Sorry for your loss. Your company made a big mistake. Hope he does'nt take action. My guys lost a trimmer last year and it cost them their BONUS. Bet that does'nt happen again.

  6. jrc lawncare

    jrc lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    You can't do that. One call to the labor board, & they would be all over that....
  7. jrc lawncare

    jrc lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    That you can do.
  8. brownsallseasonlandscape

    brownsallseasonlandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    The employee ask that it be taken from their check rather than paying the company for the loss. The employees sign a handbook saying that they are responsible for any loss that they cause. We provide locks so that everything can be locked up it is just a common sense thing. We are not deducting the money against the employees wishes. That is not the problem the problem is really the amount.
  9. Horsepower Lawns

    Horsepower Lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 213

    Even if its in the handbook, you still can't do it. If the labor dep. checks you out, it may be worse because its in the handbook.
  10. Branch manager

    Branch manager LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    I agree with you guys that it isn't permissable to deduct losses or charge employees for losses. Even in cases of gross negligence and willfull destruction, you'd have to go to court and file a claim. Each state varies,so proceed cautiously. What about insurance? If you have umbrella coverage, it would most likely cover theft, whatever the cause. I agree loss of bonuses is a more effective method. Maybe use this as an opportunity for rest of crews to be more vigilant; offer bonus to crew that keeps track of all their stuff..:drinkup: as you know, bottom line, you are responsible for everything your people do while on the clock.

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