Sunday, 29 March 2020

Texas Company Looking To Take Federal Stimulus Money To Employees Back From Their Paychecks

A company in Austin, Texas, is looking to dock the pay of workers who receive stimulus checks from the federal government, according to a new report. 
“The form says they are preemptively deducting funds from our paychecks. That number is based on what they’re anticipating the government relief fund to be,” a worker for the company told KXAN. The worker asked not to be identified in this investigation so as not to impact his company’s ability to continue doing business,” KXAN reported.
The worker said his company emailed a form titled “Employee Acknowledgement of ‘Government Assistance’ Pay Reduction” to some staffers on Wednesday. “In response to the economic crisis that is affecting all of us due to the coronavirus pandemic…(company name redacted) are hereby enacting the Employee Emergency Compensation Fund,” the letter stated.
The agreement would put workers under a “temporary compensation reduction that is in line with the assistance that it receives from the federal government related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” By signing the agreement, the company’s employees would have their paychecks between April 6 and April 20 cut by 100% of any money received under the stimulus bill.
The company would also take half of the $500 stipend allotted for dependents under the bill.
The worker told the station that the company laid off 25% of its workforce this week. The worker also said he thinks the company was using the money saved in those salaries from former workers to meet payroll.
“The company that I work for is a national company and they make hundreds of millions of dollars in profit a year and instead of making sacrifices at the higher levels, they’re passing it on down to everybody else,” the worker said.
“I think that this violates at least one law that we know of out there,” Austin labor attorney Austin Kaplan told KXAN.
“What they’re trying to do here, it looks like, is take people down to zero for at least one pay period, and the law wouldn’t permit that,” Kaplan told KXAN. “It also just looks like a bad idea. I think employers have other options that they can do than something like this — I haven’t seen something like this before.”

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