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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Who is the Boss?

I'm in California, in a mortgage company. Can I require employees to pay to use Funding Suite, a tool to run credit for clients? They are abusing the right. The bill is way out of hand. What can I legally do.

Legally, I have no idea. I am not a lawyer. I don't work in California. I don't want to be a lawyer (although I did score in the 95th percentile on a practice LSAT). I can't answer your question as to the legality of the whole thing.

However, from an HR perspective, just who is running this company? It sounds like the employees are and management is running around wringing their hands saying, "Whatever shall we do? Wherever shall we go?"

If you don't want your employees to abuse a system, don't let them. Make it a fireable offense. Or, if you are more compassionate (or a bigger sucker) than I am, make it a punishable offense that will eventually result in termination if they violate the policy enough times.

I used to work for a credit union. Running a credit report without proper authorization was grounds for immediate termination. If we caught you running one for yourself, your friend, your neighbor or even a client without the proper i's dotted and t's crossed, you were kicked out on your rear.

You know, we never had a problem with this.

Unless your "employees" are actually "independent contractors" you probably don't want to get into the hassle of charging them for anything other then health insurance and lunch. Just say, "No more."

With the housing marketing as it is, I'm sure there are a lot of out of work mortgage brokers who would love a new job, so if you fire, you'll surely be able to hire.

Sometimes being the boss means being "mean." That's why managers make more money--we expect them to do hard things. Laying down the law is one of them.

3 comments:

she said: said...

Honestly - I'm disturbed a mortgage company would not consider this issue a firing offense.

You know you can be sued for violations of the FCRA? Right? Which your company is obviously violating. The law requires you have a legitimate need to run someone's credit. You don't reveal if the employees are running their friends credit for fun, or customers.. but depending on who it is, you are opening yourself up to liability.

Don't you have a legal department to tell you these things anyway? There are many things about your inquiry that raise disturbing questions about your business.

Peters Law Group said...

Setting aside the issues under FCRA and the excellent advice given by the Evil HR Lady, the employment law issue is an easy one.

In California, under Labor Code 2802, employers must reimburse and otherwise be responsible for any costs of doing business.

An employer cannot charge their employees for the tools used to do their job just as they must reimburse them if the employee incurs them directly.

Keep up the good work! I enjoy reading your posts...

The California Employee Rights Blog

James Peters
Peters Law Group, APC

Evil HR Lady said...

Yeah! It's a California lawyer with a real answer.

So, no you can't charge them and yes you should fire them.