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need help/advice Michigan

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  • need help/advice Michigan

    my husband works for a small bowling in cadillac. he's been there since september. one of the other guys that's been there for the last couple of years taught him to give and how to give discounts to repeat customers, the ones who bring in more clientele. my husband has been following this practice since the end of september. reports are generated nightly that show discounts given, total revenue, breakdown of cash, checks, and credit card payments, etc. nobody has ever said a word to my husband about not giving discounts. saturday night, the printer ate the end of the night report so management had to pull it off the mainframe to balance the till on monday. yesterday they called him at his other job and asked him to come in because there was a problem. when he arrived they told him he was being terminated for giving the discounts and that he must repay the discounts he gave to customers. they are keeping his final check this friday and want him to make up the difference immediately. is this legal? i am so steemed over this !!!

    i have years of HR experience and it has always been my experience that a papertrail must be made before an employee can be terminated unless its the result of a major violation of policy such as theft, insubordination, destruction of property, etc. this place does not even have a policy handbook...there is nothing in writing stating he can't give discounts, nobody has ever said anything about previous discounts he has given over the last 3 months, and the practice was taught to him by another LONG TERM employee. is this legal? can they keep his check and make him repay for the discounts? what recourse does he have???

  • #2
    This is really in the "unfair" but "legal" category. His firing was not illegal, because there is no law that prohibits discharge for such a reason, even if he was trained to do something by another employee that the employer does not allow. Although a "paper trail" would help the employer if they choose to protest his unemployment claim, there is no law that says that prior verbal or written warnings or other forms of discipline are required before an employer can discharge an employee. That may have been your employer's practice, or it may have been mandated by a union contract, but it isn't required by law. As you must know, Michigan is an "at-will" employment state and legally, he could have been fired because they didn't like the color of his socks.

    The company cannot, however, make him "pay back" to the company such lost revenue unless they 1) sue him in civil court and win (IMHO, not likely) or 2) he signs an authorization to deduct the amount from his final paycheck (which I recommend he NOT do). They cannot "hold his check". If he does not receive his pay on the regularly scheduled payday, and without deduction), he can file a claim with the state Dept. of Labor.

    If I were the company, and this really was a prohibited practice, I'd be coming down on the employee who trained him like a thunderstorm. Nothing he can do about that, though.
    Last edited by Pattymd; 11-20-2007, 07:52 AM.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      They can't withhold his final paycheck and they can't deduct from his final paycheck for repayments. He can report it to the state department of labor if they do. They can, however, sue him for the alleged missing funds. I'm not saying that they will; it's just that that is the proper recourse.

      There are no laws requiring employers to keep a paper trail before terminating someone. It's certainly a best practice, but it's not required.
      I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
        This is really in the "unfair" but "legal" category. His firing was not illegal, because there is no law that prohibits discharge for such a reason, even if he was trained to do something by another employee that the employer does not allow. Although a "paper trail" would help the employer if they choose to protest his unemployment claim, there is no law that says that prior verbal or written warnings or other forms of discipline are required before an employer can discharge an employee. That may have been your employer's practice, or it may have been mandated by a union contract, but it isn't required by law. As you must know, Michigan is an "at-will" employment state and legally, he could have been fired because they didn't like the color of his socks.

        The company cannot, however, make him "pay back" to the company such lost revenue unless they 1) sue him in civil court and win (IMHO, not likely) or 2) he signs an authorization to deduct the amount from his final paycheck (which I recommend he NOT do). They cannot "hold his check". If he does not receive his pay on the regularly scheduled payday, and without deduction), he can file a claim with the state Dept. of Labor.

        If I were the company, and this really was a prohibited practice, I'd be coming down on the employee who trained him like a thunderstorm. Nothing he can do about that, though.
        I disagree but only IF the other employee was tasked with the responsibility to actively train him. I would put the onus on the other employee and the employer should be able to trace it back to that employee and his prior actions. If so, then he should be getting his job back. When you are trained and you don't deviate from those actions taught to you, then you're doing your job the way you're supposed to. If you do something else, then that's your fault. He has to burn the other guy to save his butt. The other guy already kept quit to save his.

        Now if the compay rejects the claim that he was improperly trained, then you sue the bowling alley and get a court order to examine the nightly reports where the other worker was on the register or even nights where your husband was not working....even before he was hired..etc. The discounts should be showing up on those nights as well. That's what I would think you could do but again...you should consult a lawyer and go over whether it's worth it.
        Last edited by mrx2; 11-20-2007, 12:31 PM.

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        • #5
          mrx2, there is no law that requires employers to provide employees with the training to do their jobs. Unless the OP's husband had an employment contract to the contrary, he was an at-will employee and could be fired for any reason not allowed by law. There is no law that would prohibit this termiantion. It falls into the category of unfair, but not illegal.
          I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

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          • #6
            Further, there is absolutely no compelling legal reason for a judge to force the production of the type of report you describe.

            Just because you WANT to know something doesn't mean a judge with force someone else into telling you.

            Because the firing is legal, there is no reason for the bowling alley to prove it's position.
            Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

            I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

            Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

            Comment


            • #7
              It doesn't matter that he was not properly trained or what the other employee did, this termination was not illegal . He wasn't terminated for a protected by law reason such as age, gender, religion, etc. An unfair but legal termination. (unless he had an employment contract to the contrary)

              They cannot hold his check or make deductions from it as previously stated. (put in claim with the state DOL if they do)
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              Comment

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