It’s no secret that managing your business’s finances is a careful balancing act. It’s always necessary to find ways to save money and avoid losing it if you want to make a profit. It’s no surprise then that many employers try to make some savings by getting their employees to take on some of the costs of running a business. Many expenses are perfectly acceptable, or at least legal, to ask your employees to pay. However, your staff won’t necessarily thank you for it. There are some costs you should certainly reconsider putting on your employees, sometimes for legal reasons, but often just to treat them better.
Carrying out background checks is a standard practice in many industries, and some employers will do it for all potential employees. There is also a significant amount of employers who perform background checks on current employees. It’s essential to get written consent before carrying out a check, which is usually done by a third-party provider. In Washington DC, California and Minnesota, it’s not legal to require the employee (or potential employee) to pay for the check. However, even when it is, you might want to reconsider. This is one of your first interactions with an employee, and being asked to pay for something right away could put them off.
It’s not unusual for a business to require its employees to wear a uniform. If the company simply has a dress code, it’s generally standard and uncontroversial for employees to buy their own clothes. However, with a full uniform, the question of who should pay is sometimes more complicated. If you want to make your employees happy, providing uniforms for them is best. You can easily save money if you find uniforms and scrubs online. Online deals will offer you great prices, as well as discounts when you order things in bulk. According to NOLO, the cost of a uniform can’t be taken from an employee’s paycheck if it will take their wages below minimum wage. In some states, employees can’t be charged for a uniform at all, whereas in others they can only be made to pay if they can wear the uniform as street clothes.
If you have an employee carpark, you might ask your staff to pay to park there. You might even take the costs out of their wages. Providing parking can incur costs for you, including lighting and security. So it’s understandable if you want to recover these costs. However, if your employees have no choice but to drive to work, they need somewhere to park. You can look at free parking as an employee benefit and one that many employees enjoy.
Is it fair to make your employees pay for theft? Customers running away is common with businesses like restaurants or gas stations, where it’s easy to leave without paying. Whether or not you can take the cost of this out of employee wages depends on where you are. FindLaw says that the legality is dependent on the state. In California, for example, it’s not allowed. Regardless of whether it’s legal, many people see it as being unfair. Even the most professional employee might not be able to stop someone dining and dashing.
Getting your employees to absorb some of your expenses might sometimes make monetary sense. But if you want your staff to appreciate you, you should reconsider it.