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vtel408
06-14-2007, 07:11 PM
Lets say I work for a company and we do contracting work for (client). Since we are doing work for (client), they want us to wear their company uniform and they issue us (client) badges. (client) will charge my company $250 for lost badges. If I lost my badge, can my company charge me the $250? Even if I did sign a form when I receive the badge saying I will be charge that amount for lost badge. PLEASE HELP.

cbg
06-15-2007, 12:30 AM
I'll let one of the CA experts answer the question, but the simple solution is, don't lose the badge.

DAW
06-15-2007, 08:03 AM
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Deductions.htm

2. Q. If I break or damage company property or lose company money while performing my job, can my employer deduct the cost/loss from my wages?

A. No, your employer cannot legally make such a deduction from your wages if, by reason of mistake or accident a cash shortage, breakage, or loss of company property/equipment occurs. The California courts have held that losses occurring without any fault on the part of the employee or that are merely the result of simple negligence are inevitable in almost any business operation and thus, the employer must bear such losses as a cost of doing business. For example, if you accidentally drop a tray of dishes, take a bad check, or have a customer walkout without paying a check, your employer cannot deduct the loss from your paycheck.

cyjeff
06-15-2007, 08:28 AM
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Deductions.htm

2. Q. If I break or damage company property or lose company money while performing my job, can my employer deduct the cost/loss from my wages?

A. No, your employer cannot legally make such a deduction from your wages if, by reason of mistake or accident a cash shortage, breakage, or loss of company property/equipment occurs. The California courts have held that losses occurring without any fault on the part of the employee or that are merely the result of simple negligence are inevitable in almost any business operation and thus, the employer must bear such losses as a cost of doing business. For example, if you accidentally drop a tray of dishes, take a bad check, or have a customer walkout without paying a check, your employer cannot deduct the loss from your paycheck.

doesn't the document saying that the employee is responsible for replacing said badge trump this?

In other words, the contract signed says that the employee knows he/she is responsible and will replace it.

I do agree, however, that the money can not be just deducted from a paycheck.

Pattymd
06-15-2007, 08:32 AM
Such a clause would not be enforceable, cyjeff, because the law specifically prohibits such deductions.

Droopy128
06-15-2007, 10:47 AM
The company I’m working for charge for lost badge if it was lost less 1 year since it was issued. We charge a $10 fee for loss badge but do not deduct the amount from paycheck. This ‘badge’ would fall into the uniform guideline rule, where employer may charge employee for lost, damages, or failure to return of the issued item.

cyjeff
06-15-2007, 10:52 AM
Such a clause would not be enforceable, cyjeff, because the law specifically prohibits such deductions.

So, if I have a dishwasher that breaks a hundred dishes a day, I cannot charge them for the dishes... but would, instead, just fire them for the losses?

A bit of the tail wagging the dog there, isn't it?

Pattymd
06-15-2007, 10:56 AM
Yeah, cyjeff, probably is. Unless you can show gross negligence, which would probably be pretty easy if the dishwasher was breaking 100 dishes a day. :eek: ;)

DAW
06-15-2007, 01:37 PM
The company Im working for charge for lost badge if it was lost less 1 year since it was issued. We charge a $10 fee for loss badge but do not deduct the amount from paycheck. This badge would fall into the uniform guideline rule, where employer may charge employee for lost, damages, or failure to return of the issued item.

I do not see that rule in the CA-DLSE page on deductions. May I ask where you are getting it? Thank you.

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Deductions.htm

Droopy128
06-15-2007, 05:20 PM
It didnt specifically have the word badge, but it did mention of "accessories item of distinctive design or color as with the general rule of the uniform guide, which initially provided by the employer, until failure to return or loss. This is on DLSE manual section 45-12.

DAW
06-15-2007, 06:53 PM
Maybe, but the same section also has language which would make me skeptical that it applies to badges. I will say that your $10 charge seems a lot closer to the "reasonable" restriction then the other posters $250 charge.

45.5.5 ... The definition and [DLSE] enforcement policy is sufficiently flexible to allow the employer to specify basic wardrobe items which are usual and generally usable in the occupation, such as white shirts, dark pants and black shoes and belts, all of unspecified design, without requiring the employer to furnish such items. If a required black or white uniform or accessory does not meet the test of being generally usable in the occupation the employee may not be required to pay for it.

45.5.11 Even if there is a deduction made, the deduction may only represent the reasonable cost of the equipment or tool provided by the employer and not returned. The burden is on the employer to establish the reasonable cost.

Villain
06-15-2007, 10:18 PM
In section 9, Uniforms and Equipment, of the wage orders:

(C) A reasonable deposit may be required as security for the return of the items furnished by the employer under provisions of
subsections (A) and (B) of this section upon issuance of a receipt to the employee for such deposit. Such deposits shall be made pursuant
to Section 400 and following of the Labor Code or an employer with the prior written authorization of the employee may deduct
from the employees last check the cost of an item furnished pursuant to (A) and (B) above in the event said item is not returned. No
deduction shall be made at any time for normal wear and tear. All items furnished by the employer shall be returned by the employee
upon completion of the job.

Pattymd
06-16-2007, 05:23 AM
Not to pick nits here, but the cite you gave Villain, does specifically state deducted from final pay if not returned. It does not address the OP's question, which was, I just lost it (therefore, presuming he's still employed).

Could $250 for a badge cancellation possibly be reasonable? What does this badge do, get the employee into Fort Knox? :eek: :rolleyes:

Villain
06-16-2007, 07:54 AM
That's true Patty, and I'm not really sure. I would suggest calling your local DLSE office, they'll anyswer all of your questions. On the other hand, no, $250 dollars does not sound reasonable.

turbowray
06-16-2007, 01:25 PM
Not to pick nits here, but the cite you gave Villain, does specifically state deducted from final pay if not returned. It does not address the OP's question, which was, I just lost it (therefore, presuming he's still employed).

Could $250 for a badge cancellation possibly be reasonable? What does this badge do, get the employee into Fort Knox? :eek: :rolleyes:

No doubt, that is one spendy badge. Here is what our company does, they will replace the first one, after that, they charge 10.00, and that is out of pocket. Maybe they can not deduct it, but if you are caught not wearing your badge, you get written up, so they are forcing us to replace it if need be, no matter whether we have to pay for it or not. Maybe that is their way around it, by not forcing us to pay, but making it a write up if we do NOT get a badge to wear at work.

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