Should Employers Be Able To Dock Your Pay For Not Following The Rules?

UPDATE: A rep for the pizza chain where this list was allegedly posted tells Consumerist that the items on this list are definitely not company policy.

It’s one thing to get yelled at by your boss for using your cell phone or not wearing the proper uniform, but should — and more importantly can — your employer deduct money from your paycheck for these rules violations?

In this thread over at Reddit, one commenter posted a photo of a list of infractions and related deductions at his place of business, a pizza chain with around 200 stores in 13 states.

Among the items on the list:
-Friends/Family visiting while employee is working: $5
-Improper uniforms: $5
-Having any personal items in the kitchen: $5
-Not wearing an apron: $5

We’ve attempted to contact this pizza chain to see if this is indeed company policy or if it’s just a rogue franchise owner. As soon as we have some sort of reply, we will update.

Whether or not such a policy is legal depends on the state. In this particular chain’s home state of Michigan, for example:

[A]n employer can not withhold wages for disciplinary action. All earned wages are required to be paid on the scheduled pay date. Note: employers are required to deduct certain deductions as required by law or permitted through a collective bargaining agreement. Deductions, other than those required by law or collective bargaining agreement, require the employees signed written consent for the deduction.

However, this is not the case in all states, where the rules are not so clear.

That’s why we want to see how common this sort of policy is. If you have stories of having your pay deducted for rule-breaking, share them in the comments. In the meantime, vote on whether or not you think this is a good thing for employers to do:


Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Bsamm09 says:

    No, some are cost of doing business and some are reasons (if occurring frequently) for termination. Handle them as such.

    • smo0 says:

      I see at least 3 osha violations.

      • Rachacha says:

        Which ones? None of the items on here are trying to prevent worker injury. There are several items on here that are likely to address health codes, but health codes =/= OSHA regulations

        • smo0 says:

          Definitely the last one. I’m re-reading the friends/family one… they can’t enforce that unless they have a “right to refuse service” sign… (even those can be argued.)
          And personal items is too broad of a term. Not sure if that violates anything but all of this creates a hostile work environment….

          • kc2idf says:

            Oh, I see, I thought you were making a threat. As in “oh, yeah, boss, I guess I did talk on my cell phone. Hey, is that a rat I see in the corner? I’m sure the health department would like to hear about that.”

      • kc2idf says:

        Didn’t you see a health code violation too?

      • bluline says:

        Can’t leave the store for ANY reason while on the clock? So, a medical emergency or fire in the building would require the employees to stay put?

    • SisterMaryPollyEsther says:

      Common sense posted first on this thread. Huzzah!

  2. Vermont2US says:

    Gawd, next thing you know, they’ll be fining you for using toilet paper in the bathroom.

  3. dragonfire81 says:

    I don’t like this. What’s to stop a manager or owner from coming up with a bunch of bullshit violations (with accompanying deductions) as an excuse to pay the employees less?

    And what happens if there’s enough violations to effectively drop an employee’s income below minimum wage? I don’t think that’s even legal.

    • kingofmars says:

      I agree with you. When an employer is able to profit off employee violations, it gives the employer and incentive to come up with new violations. I feel the same way about states that use vice taxes as a form of revenue. The state has little incentive to curb smoking, drinking, gambling or speeding because it would cut into its profits.

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      That’s generally why these things are illegal. Further, at least one of these things is out of the employeee’s control. I can tell my friends not to drop by when I’m working, but that won’t keep them. Plus, I’m not telling my mom she can’t come by and see me at work.

      • ZachPA says:

        It’s generally illegal to make a payroll deduction for errors made on the job, but it is generally legal to dock employee pay for intentionally disregarding the rules, especially when such rules have been systematically posted or otherwise disseminated in an employee manual.

        If an employee makes a mistake when making a pizza–let’s say that the customer ordered pepperoni and the employee put mushrooms on instead–then that is simply the cost of doing business. It’s generally not legal for an employer to deduct the cost of the pizza or any other arbitrary amount because the employee had no malicious intent and did not disregard rules and regulations. Furthermore, docking this employee’s pay would create an environment where employees were so afraid of making mistakes that they would wind up making more.

        However, if an employee knows that cell phone usage is prohibited while on duty and chooses to use that phone anyway, that is intentional disregard for the rules, and punishment is able to be meted out legally. Docking an employee’s pay can happen for this if, and only if, the employee consents to having his pay docked. If the employee consents to having his pay docked, he has learned a valuable lesson on not disregarding the rules. If the employee does not consent to having his pay docked, the employer must pay the full undocked wage, but then has leave to terminate the employee immediately. Because the rule was posted or otherwise disseminated, the employee’s termination would be for willful misconduct, and he would then generally be disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation.

        It is important to note that in this way, an employee’s pay can be docked as many times per week as is necessary to the extent that the employee’s wage continues to be at least the federally or locally mandated minimum wage. In other words, an employer can dock the pay of an employee by only so much before the employee would be earning less than minimum wage. For purposes of this exercise, minimum wage would either be calculated by day or by week, depending on state laws.

        So the choice for the employee would be to take the temporary pay cut, pay the fine and keep the job, or get paid the extra $10 and be shown the door with no recourse whatsoever.

        That said, while rules like these are necessary, sanctions such as these are definitely not. Fining employees for every little thing makes them unhappy, which increases error rates and turnover. Ask any restaurant operator and he will tell you that the quickest way to slash the number of errors made in production of meals is to keep your staff there and not constantly be training new employees. There are better ways to make the employees follow the rules. Nobody likes working for a dictatorial asshole, and he will find out sooner or later that his little rule sheet in the OP means absolutely nothing when he can’t get the manpower to run his pizza joint.

    • ovalseven says:

      If this were legal, employers would take ridiculous advantage of it.

      Sneezing: $200

  4. brinkman says:

    Eating or drinking food without paying is apparently free.

  5. dragonfire81 says:

    Also, just noticed the “paddlin” tag.

    Good stuff. :)

  6. BrightShopperGettingBrighter says:

    Ahh, to be an employment attorney… I think it might be my next career.

  7. ldillon says:

    It might be OK if it was a two-way street. I’d need to see a list of management shortcomings that would result in fines being paid to aggrieved employees. You would know the system was working properly if the fines and the payouts were roughly equal.

    • mike says:

      My professor did a similar thing in his class. Every time a student’s cell phone wasn’t turned off (off-off, not silent or vibrate) and he noticed it, everyone’s grade got bumped down a couple of points. I remember 5 bumps was enough to lower everyone’s grade a half a letter.

      But if the professor’s cell phone rang, everyone got a half a letter grade bump up. I ended up dropping the class so I don’t know what the net result was.

      • Fumanchu says:

        Everyone’s grade was dropped? I would have dropped the class immediatly. If I HAD to take the class I would take legal action against the proffesor [while protesting to the schools admin] and if neccesary the school to change the policy.

    • mommiest says:

      I worked for a guy years ago who had a similar policy. If a crew member was late on a job site, the boss took a note of it; then, if the boss was late showing up for a job, he did not have to pay that crew member for the time he was forced to wait to begin work. One day, he realized that everyone scheduled to work that day had kept him waiting at least once; so he sat down, and had an extra cup of coffee before arriving late to the site.

  8. moonjest says:

    No leaving the store for any reason while on the clock? So not even if there’s a fire? I agree with the other person who mentioned this could turn into a list of bullshit violations (oh wait, it already has) and used as an excuse to pay employees less.

    • oldwiz65 says:

      In case of fire or armed robbery you have to clock out before running out of the store.

    • Rachacha says:

      Take it to the extreme, before taking the trash out to the dumpster, you have to clock out, but after you clock out, you can’t do any work, so I guess the trash has to stay in the kitchen.

    • dakeypoo says:

      The best way to get rid of stupid rules is to follow them religiously. I would not leave the store for any reason, ever. I would refuse all work duties requiring me to leave the store. I would not assist any customers outside of the store. I would not take out the trash. I would not make deliveries.

  9. galm666 says:

    Sounds like a good way to kill morale. It’s a pizza joint so the morale is shaky to begin with, so doing this will make bad employees worse and make good employees bad ones. Say goodbye to employee retention.

  10. Cat says:

    As your employer is so perfect and god-like, YES, they can do whatever they please. I’m expecting SCOTUS to issue a ruling to that affect any day now.

    • ARP says:

      Just put in an arbitration clause so that you win every time (sorry, 80%+, you have to make look like it might be fair). Got raped at work? Too bad, off to the one sided arbitration for you. I mean you had to expect to get raped, right?

  11. DanKelley98 says:

    While I agree (and voted) that there are better ways to keep your staff in line, sometimes you only get what you pay for with an employee….

    Whoever wrote that memo needs to learn to spell effective…..

  12. u1itn0w2day says:

    Yes they should and that includes the management that doesn’t follow the rules or policy as well. Tit for tat. And that’s why this will become a legal nightmare if done on a large scale.

    • SilentAgenger says:

      All I wanna know is: What is “tat”, where do I get it, and how do I exchange it for that other thing?

  13. Outrun1986 says:

    The sign is posted and the employees are informed about it, so if they agree to work there then they probably have to put up with it. If they have signed a contract with these deductions on it then its probably legal, and again they agreed to it. The only one I would disagree with is leaving while on the clock, what if it was a genuine emergency, like your mother is dying? I don’t think they could dock you for that. The rule also seems to apply to managers as stated at the bottom, so I don’t think its a rogue manager here, but perhaps a rogue district manager who is managing multiple stores.

    With that being said I think some of this would be impossible to enforce.

  14. doctordan says:

    I don’t get why Consumerist won’t say it’s Little Cesars. There are only 2 pizza chains HQ’ed in Michigan, and Dominos’ has far more than 200 stores. What’s the point in not naming the store when you give such blatant clues? It’s like saying “It’s from a large retail store with a bullseye logo that rhymes with ‘Smarget’”

    • dotkat says:

      According to the printed policy, it’s Jet’s.

    • cctalum04 says:

      From what I can tell from two of the violations that refer to the company it’s Jet’s Pizza – HQ in Sterling Heights, MI. I’m hoping this a rogue franchisee, otherwise I’ll stop ordering from them. I can’t see how those policies are enforceable.

    • Misha says:

      They’re not saying it’s Little Caesar’s because it’s Jet’s, which you can tell by reading the text in the picture, which mentions Jet’s multiple times, including the uniform violation.

      • doctordan says:

        my bad, I haven’t lived in Michigan since 2000 and never heard of Jet’s. Either way, their refusal to name the store is even more silly with the name in the picture

        • Saltillopunk says:

          Admittedly I thought the same until I went back and looked at the list and saw some references to Jet’s. I am not sure which area you were from, but it has been in business with multiple locations in the Detroit area well before 2000.

          That said, the article and the initial thought it was Little Caesar’s brought back memories of friends working there (LC). They nick named it the Big Ho, because the manager’s would rip off the employees like a big ho!

      • pop top says:

        Thank you for saying which chain it was. I will never buy pizza from there again.

        • Jawaka says:

          I would. At least I would know that the would be a high probability of my order being taken correctly and I wouldn’t have to wait for my order to be taken while the kid at the register was gabbing or texting to her friends.

          • pop top says:

            Do you also tell kids to get off your lawn?

          • Nunov Yerbizness says:

            Agreed. Millenials seem to think work is supposed to be fun and entertaining, and that it’s somehow an intolerable offense for one of them to be “bored.” Well, guess what, the McJobs you hold to get you through high school and college are soul-sucking, and these jobs are supposed to teach you that unless you really do own the place or you’re working for Daddy, you’re getting paid to do things you generally don’t want to do and you’re not the one making the rules.

            All of these policies were created because the franchise owner probably got tired of seeing half-assed work quality and behaviors that affected his/her bottom line. Believe it or not, the franchise owner is not there to hand out money to snivelling little Millenials just for showing up and futzing around on their cell phones. Franchise owner is running a business, not a daycare; and if you can’t keep off your cell phone or stay in the building during work hours or stop stealing food, then you can take your little princess ass out and find another job.

            And yes, you kids can get right off my lawn.

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          I would wager a bet this isn’t a corporate policy and its a rogue franchisee. I would not go blaming the whole chain until we know the whole story.

      • backinpgh says:

        mmmm Jet’s Pizza was my favorite. I miss Jet’s. They don’t have anything like it here in PA.

  15. RookOmega says:

    That sign would be more “effective” if they spell checked it.

  16. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    I bet dollars to donuts this is a “rogue franchise owner” who doesn’t know sh*t about sh*t. He’s tired of his lackey teeny bopper employees doing a piss poor job, but he knows he’s not going to get any better. So instead of actually firing them all and taking a hit to his business by not having a shop with people to operate it, he’s decided he’s going to make his own “rules” because he figures they don’t know any better.

    I hope this guy sinks. What a d-bag.

    • Jawaka says:

      He’s a douche bag because he’s tired of his employees doing a piss poor job yet acknowledging that he needs employees to keep his doors open? Any employee pays their employees a certain amount per hour to do a job. If they aren’t doing what he’s paying them to do then why should he have to pay them?

      • pinkbunnyslippers says:

        Because it’s the law? If he doesn’t like their job, fire their asses. Don’t post bogus “rules” that aren’t enforceable under the law in his state.

    • technoreaper says:

      He’s greedy and trying to pay himself more.

  17. az123 says:

    I remember the days when I had jobs where things like what are on that list were real concerns. Anyplace I ever worked had a simple solution, if you broke the rule to enough of an extent they would send you home for the day (or maybe forever). That docks your pay and avoids the legal ramifications (you don’t work they don’t have to pay you in an hourly job).

    I would rather send the person home if I was a manager, you slap someone with a “fine” and they are angry enough they could cause some real issues for the store in an effort to get revenge, not the best thing if they are making and selling food

    • moonjest says:

      Sending the person home is a better solution. Some of these deductions equate to an hour’s pay, so it’s BS to incur a fine from, say, looking at your cell phone for 30 seconds, that basically negates your work for the hour.

      • George4478 says:

        Or you could spend that 30 seconds not looking at your damn phone, since the penalty is so steep.

      • failurate says:

        But by fining them you basically get to dock their pay and receive their labor. Who doesn’t like free/discounted labor?

        By sending them home, now you have to pay full wages for someone else has to do their job.

    • chargernj says:

      I know in some instances, if you send an employee home early, you still have to pay them for the rest of their shift.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        California for certain. You have to pay them a minimum 4 hours if they come to work and are sent home due to lack of work. It bumps to 8 hours if they’ve been there more than 4 hours.

        • Rachacha says:

          The solution then to that problem is if they violate the rules, let them work for 3.90 hours, then send them home, and cancel their shift for the next day before they show up. The manager would need to be clear why they were being sent home:

          “John, I noticed today that you were working in the kitchen while not wearing your uniform or apron, and you still had your ring on. I warned you about this last week, and you continue to violate the rules. This is against company policy, and I am going to have to cut your shift short today, and I am going to cancel your shift for tomorrow. Please use this time to think whether you really want to work here.

  18. livingthedreamrtw says:

    Showing up to work late – $5
    Showing up to work early – $20
    Showing up to work – Days Salary.

  19. nicoleintrovert says:

    Spelling Errors – $10

    • SteveZim1017 says:

      can you imagine the morale boost if an employee had actually written that on the sheet.

      well at least until the firings began.

  20. El_Fez says:

    “You are fined one credit for a violation of the Verbal Morality Statute.”

  21. oldwiz65 says:

    “Personal items in kitchen” could be interpreted to mean your clothes or the car keys in your pockets.
    “friends family visiting while working” could be interpreted as meaning your friends/family can’t buy pizza while you work.

  22. ARP says:

    I can’t believe that nobody has referenced the Hudsucker Proxy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv33SsGHYHo

    PS- That’s the world we’re headed to, except for the part where the good guy wins. He just gets his idea stolen.

  23. HeatherLynn30 says:

    Rules like this are the mark of managers who don’t know how to actually manage.

  24. eldergias says:

    “Leaving the store for ANY reason while on the clock.”
    Manager: I order you to leave the store while on the clock or you’re fired. Now pay me $5.

    “Friends/Family visiting while employee is working.”
    Manager: I don’t want the business or money of anyone you know.

    “Taking phone orders incorrectly.”
    Manager: I’m sorry the customer doesn’t speak English, but that’s your problem. You should have known ‘krabkalash’ meant pepperoni.

    “Payroll deductions will be made for any of the following infractions.”
    Translation – We are hemorrhaging money and this is the only way to keep from going out of business.

  25. Rachacha says:

    I am torn. If this is a pizza shop, some of these might be health code violations that teh owner had been hit with over and over again, but no matter how much training was provided, employees continued to violate the rules, but the problem with this list is that employees will begin to use the rules to retaliate. Say for example, teh shop got hit with a huge order, the manager calls up an employee and asks if they can come in right away to help with the order, the employee agrees, but rather than coming in and getting right to work, he needs to remove all of his jewlery, put on an apron and change into his uniform. Then when he makes the pizza, he has to weigh every ingredient rather than eyeballing it which will further slow the process down.

    Having worked in a food production environment, after making 1000+ of the same item, you can get pretty good at determining the proper amount of ingredients just based on look or feel.

    • FatLynn says:

      The proper way to do this, IMO, is to set the base wage slightly lower, and then pay out bonuses when all rules are followed. I work in manufacturing, and there are “safety bonuses” at virtually every plant I’ve ever been to. Similarly, most of the items on this list could fall under a “food safety bonus” or a “good customer service bonus” or some other bullshit like that.

    • Solkanar512 says:

      Why are you torn? It’s against the law to withhold wages for time worked as a punitive measure. Period, end of story. What’s so difficult about that?

      If the owner wanted to send folks home early, cut their future hours or fire them then that would be fine. Or they could be trained better or institute other compliance measures, such as posters or more streamlined compliance measures.

      Look, I work in heavily regulated places, and somehow we’re able to take care of all this shit without resorting to illegal measures.

    • Bob says:

      I understand totally. Should I dock the pay of my minimum wage workers, who are barely employable, to force them to do their job as if I paid professionals or should I follow the law.

      Yes, a really tough decision.

  26. RandomHookup says:

    “…employers are required to deduct certain deductions as required by law”.

    Did the Michigan Legislature lose their thesaurus?

  27. conquestofbread says:

    Man, I feel bad for the delivery drivers. They are going to end up owing a lot of money for all of the times they have to leave the store. :(

  28. brinks says:

    Have a better screening process for managers and train them on how to do their effing job properly and you won’t need to fine your employees. That includes the manager who came up with this winning idea.

  29. Guppy06 says:

    Fast food chains don’t pay well enough to get workers with a higher work ethic. After all, it’s easy enough to replace the troublemakers in this job market, but management knows full well that the new employees will be just like the ones they replace when all that is offered is minimum wage.

    With labor, as with everything else, you get what you pay for. This is the cost of doing business.

    • Jevia says:

      So they’ll likely end up with a lot of turnover, which will decrease the quality of their product/service, fewer people will patronize the place and eventually the owner will have to close.

  30. Greg Ohio says:

    I’m pretty sure this would violate federal law, regardless of what state it is.

    • HomerSimpson says:

      That’s why we need more Republicans in office to get stupid anti-business laws like that off the books!

      /s

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      This is exactly right. The federales will be very unhappy when they see this thing. Generally speaking, federal labor law requires that you be PAID for work with NO deuctions except for only several allowed by law.

    • coffee100 says:

      Yeah the Federal Government is so powerful they can fix anything and they always come up with the best solution. All we need to do is say “The SUPREME Court has RULED” and everyone genuflects. (Congress or the President would do it but that word SUPREME is just so kingly)

      Employment law is a state issue. The Federal Government has no jurisdiction and needs to spend its time finding a way to stop spending money.

  31. pop top says:

    For reference, it’s Jet’s Pizza, which actually has decent pizza. Order Happy’s instead. :D

    Also https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jets-Pizza/178586090176

    • JReedNet says:

      I really wish they would out these companies. FWIW, Little Caesar’s is also Michigan Based, though I am sure they have more than 200 locations. If I had a Jet’s Pizza nearby, I will now not go there because of this. I don’t care about a company’s stance on moral issues (like Target’s and Chickfila’s donations). But treating your employees poorly bothers me the most.

  32. ap0 says:

    Umm, you’ve given away that it’s a Jet’s Pizza in Michigan (y’know, by the sign). Why bother not naming them?

  33. MrEvil says:

    I’m pretty sure this is in violation of federal law. My understanding is you have to be paid for all the time you are on the clock. All the owner of this pizza joint can legally do is cut working hours of employees.

  34. kataisa says:

    That’s right, Mr. Pizza Chain Manager, keep treating your employees like sub-human criminals and they’ll continue to live up to your low expectations.

    Sigh.

  35. outsmartbullet says:

    I can think of no easier way to completely destroy the goodwill between employer and employee.

  36. viper2000 says:

    It’s illegal in Montana.
    Employers here can not deduct anything from your paycheck without your explicit permission.
    An example of this is Shoes for Crews, you have to sign a form allowing the employer to deduct that amount from your check.

    If you break something, loose something, money goes missing, they can’t just take the value out of your check. They can discipline you, fire you, whatever, but in order to get money from you, they would have to sue you.

    Any employer that tried that crap would soon be sued and would probably lose all their workers.

    • Cyfun says:

      Rly? I work in Montana, and the company I work for once denied me a company-wide 50 cent raise because I was under a 6 month disciplinary probation for some minor thing. Would have thought that after 6 months it’d kick in, but it didn’t. After working there for 2 more years, my wage was still less than starting wage of people just getting hired on.

  37. rpm773 says:

    It looks like a good way to get your payroll clerk to quit

  38. La Flama Blanca says:

    These employees probably don’t make much more than $5/hr and back when I worked in fast food all this stuff was common. Make a few errors and your pay rate is well below minimum wage, if not working for free during a given shift? This can’t fly.

    I worked at a fast food chicken chain in HS and the owner would dock the entire shift’s pay if say someone broke a dustpan or something. He got away with this because it was one of the few places that hired 15yr olds and we didn’t know any better.

    • RandomHookup says:

      And very illegal. You can’t be paid less than minimum wage, even if you are being docked for an overpayment or making up a prepaid commission.

  39. Judah says:

    No, this should not be allowed. Aggressive employers will deduct so much, you’ll be paying them to work there.

    • thomwithanh says:

      I think there’s a Spongebob episode where Mr. Crabbs gives SB and Squiward bills instead of paychecks one week.

    • HomerSimpson says:

      A Republican wet dream!

      Sadly many Democrats would also go along with it to keep from being labeled as “anti business”

  40. maxhobbs says:

    They do this in China, lure people to jobs with pay but then dock them so much that they can actually owe their employer!

    But if this flyer is true (which I doubt), it is outrageous. Fine someone $10 for talking on a phone? I could see saying you spent 10 minutes on the phone so that is your break, but fining $10 for say a 10 minute thing for a guy that makes $7.50 an hour?

    Just keep track of violations then fire someone with cause.

    • pop top says:

      “They do this in China, lure people to jobs with pay but then dock them so much that they can actually owe their employer!”

      They used to do the same thing here in the US until those dirty union bastards fought for that to be changed.

    • borgia says:

      Used to do that here too. “load sixteen tons and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.”

  41. OutPastPluto says:

    Someone needs to lay off the SpongeBob.

  42. RavenWarrior says:

    If my employer tried to pull this, I’d quit on the spot. I don’t need a job where my boss is breathing down my neck and threatening to deduct from my pay for every little thing. And that ‘friends and family visiting’ deduction? Do the employees have to dictate exactly when they work to every single person they know now to prevent losing pay? God forbid someone forgets and gets hungry for pizza.

  43. Robert Nagel says:

    The stores for this chain are independently owned and operated so this policy is probably limited to one store. They are going to be in for a big shock when the wage and hour division comes calling. In addition to paying back all deductions, maybe at a multiple, they will probably have all of their other employment pay policies examined.
    You can fire employees, you can give them time off, you can demote them, but you can’t take their money.

  44. caradrake says:

    If the employee did something *deliberately* to cost the company money, I think they should be docked, if not outright fired. But if they make a mistake, that’s just a cost of business. It wasn’t intentional.

    I think that this list is extremely harsh, and I definitely would not want to work for this company.

  45. atomix says:

    I will avoid buying Jet’s pizza. Anyone who is not smart enough to leave after this posting can’t be trusted to follow sanitary practices during food preparation.

    …And a $10 fine for such minor offenses? That’s like an hour’s wage. Ridiculous.

  46. The_IT_Crone says:

    I got written up for my parents stopping by one day. They walked in, told me my cat died, then left.

    /you can’t choose when people walk in. You should be judged by how you deal with it.

  47. LionMan says:

    Easy solution: clock in, leave the store until shift is over, then clock back out. You get paid the day’s wage minus $5 and don’t have to work at all.

  48. ovalseven says:

    Jets has good pizza, but they always seem to have questionable store policies.

    If they deliver the wrong pizza to you and you bring it back for a refund, they’ll only credit you a preset amount. I think it’s about $8. So if you order $20 pizza and they give you the wrong one, you’re out $12.

    Plus, they’ve always demanded ID with credit card purchases, even before some cards began allowing it.

  49. Darsynia says:

    Got an estranged family member or ex-friends who is itching to punish you for something? Better not tell them where you work, or you’ll get a visit every day multiple times a day!

    Seriously this is ridiculous. Someone could claim to be your friend, and cost you however much out of your pay, with no recourse. Surely this should only apply to things you can actually, you know, CONTROL–even though it shouldn’t apply AT ALL.

  50. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    What state are these in? Some states bar these actions.

    California in particular would love to hear about this.

  51. dragonbox says:

    “Deductions, other than those required by law or collective bargaining agreement, require the employees signed written consent for the deduction”

    Yep, I can see how that works:
    “You did (something wrong). Here’s the writeup, and you’ll be docked $5 for this infraction. Just sign below.” (the writeup obviously has some legalese like “by signing, I agree to any deductions from my pay” to cover their ass)
    “I don’t want to sign.”
    “You’re fired for refusing to sign the writeup.”

  52. impatientgirl says:

    I think that is illegal anywhere. You must be paid for your time worked.

  53. Hotscot says:

    When we travel on business our company expects us to hand in restaurant receipts. Which is fine.

    However they also want to know what we ordered and ate. I find this very intrusive into my privacy and wondered if it was legal.

    • borgia says:

      I’ll bet part of their concern might be the liability of paying for alcoholic drinks for their employees if they didn’t check what they were paying for.

      • Hotscot says:

        I believe that is the case and if so they should say that but I object telling them what my food choices are.

  54. consumeristjohnny says:

    It is a black letter violation of the law. It is not open for debate. I would love to be the first person that had my docked for any of these “violations”. The lawsuit would be great, and hopefully drive the owner out of business. I ask that Consumerist let us all know the location so that owner can get the scorn and ridicule he deserves.

  55. vliam says:

    It’s called indentured servitude.

    I’d venture to guess that, even before this policy was rolled out, it was a miserable place to work. If the employees haven’t already been actively searching for new employment, this should do the trick.

  56. digitalgimpus says:

    “leaving the store for _any_ reason while on the clock”

    This alone is likely enough for slapping the manager and the owner with a fine. Emergencies aren’t explicitly excluded.

  57. Bodger says:

    Since the rules are ‘EFEECTIVE’ on 11-18-2011 the employees should be safe. Good thing that the illiterate employer didn’t make them ‘effective’ or there might be some question about it.

  58. Chooi says:

    “a pizza chain with around 200 stores in 13 states” = Jets Pizza. Read list – “Jet’s Pop” “Jet’s Apparel” etc. :D

  59. The Twilight Clone says:

    I can’t believe all you people hating on this business owner. I mean, that motherfucker is a JOB CREATOR. Stop with the whining! Quit the job if you don’t like it!!

  60. JiminyChristmas says:

    I think a certain Jets franchise owner should retain an attorney. If they get what’s coming to them they will be hearing from the state Dept. of Labor in the near future. I hope they have enough cash on hand to pay back their employees as well as pay the fines for the blatant employment law violations.

    Stuff like this just floors me. How can you be that goddamned ignorant and run a business?

  61. Kaonashi says:

    Would it kill Consumerist to just say that it’s a Little Caesar’s, five seconds of research gives it away. I can understand not wanting to give away the specific location of where someone is talking about but at least mention the chain name.

  62. dush says:

    Fees for not following the rules is dumb.
    If employees aren’t following the rules you just fire them.

  63. aja175 says:

    So they can’t dock pay for screwing up, what about taking vacation time away? We have a policy of if our CPAs don’t account for their time each week the missing hours are taken from their vacation time. Sounds shady, not sure if it’s legal.

    • RandomHookup says:

      There aren’t any state laws mandating vacation, so it’s possibly legal as long as it is documented. Wouldn’t want to work there, though.

  64. Frank The Tank says:

    “In this thread over at Reddit”

    Source, please? I don’t see any link

  65. shepd says:

    Sounds like a good deal on the leaving work thing. They’re going to dock me just $5, not for the time I’m away. I could work a lot of jobs at the same time that way…

  66. yurei avalon says:

    Pretty sure this is illegal in my state. Even if you break a major multi million dollar piece of equipment they can’t deduct anything from your pay, though they certainly could fire you. Any sort of payroll deductions we do here have to be signed for by the employee and they are limited to things like insurance, 401 K, taxes and uniform rentals.

  67. ptkdude says:

    The sign doesn’t explicitly state that the rules only apply to when you’re at work. Are they going to fine me for not wearing an apron at home while I’m showering?

    They’re also vague. I’ll be fined $5 if I am not weighing chicken. Apparently I must be weighing chicken at all times, or I’ll be punished.

  68. Buckus says:

    I once worked at a computer store where the service dept (not the one I worked in) LOST a customer’s computer (or sent it home with the wrong customer…whatever). The manager was going to try and split the cost of the computer and deduct that from everyone’s pay who was working at the time.

    He never followed through, but, yeah, it’s quite illegal to do so.

  69. TehLaser says:

    I wonder if you could get around any legal prohibitions on this by offering the employee a choice. Rather than deduct their pay, they are paid then either “voluntarily” agree to pay the fine in writing, or they keep their $5 but lose their job.

    Then again, I assume the owner/manager/whoever wrote this sign doesn’t want to or can’t fire the employees, else he or she already would have.

  70. Suburban Idiot says:

    Listen, we know the building was on fire and all, but we’re going to have to dock you five bucks for leaving the store.

  71. Suburban Idiot says:

    How do you cook food if you can’t bring it into the kitchen?

  72. Sizlack says:

    Thank you for taking the time to observe this sign…the time has been duly noted and will be docked from your pay.

  73. Midnight Harley says:

    If my till is short or I lose a credit card receipt, the asshole boss deducts it from my check.

  74. Midnight Harley says:

    If my till is short or I lose a credit card receipt, the asshole boss deducts it from my check.

  75. MPD01605 says:

    I once worked for a pool company as an area supervisor. I was salaried. I had 10 pools and a base rate of $30/pool every week. I was guaranteed $600 per pay period plus mileage.

    Anyway, there was an incentive system, which is basically the opposite of this. I could make like $300 more per pay period if everything went well. So at the beginning of the pay period, my pay was, say, $900. Then if there was a complaint, no matter how dumb, that was a $50 penalty. Then if I was over hours on one pool, that was a $25 penalty, and so on, there was a whole list. It wasn’t worth working 50-60 hours per week, 7 days per week.

  76. bugalaman says:

    my employer already does that, its called an Article 15

  77. MECmouse says:

    If they’re having so many problems with their current employees they need new employees!

  78. Shrouded says:

    If I worked at the place this was posted I would immediately start covertly robbing the place blind, damaging business as best I could. I mean this is a first blood scenario. It’s really an impressive way to make your employees despise you.

  79. rlmiller007 says:

    Of corse it’s completely against the law. Any employee should keep an accounting and take them to small claims when they leave.