Is it okay for the employer not to compensate their employee if?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it okay for the employer not to compensate their employee if?

I am an auto body painter and I get paid by the estimated paint hours per vehicle. We call it flat rate commission. Should I get paid for redo by company’s fault or other technicians fault? For example, I painted a new bumper yesterday but later on the manager found out that the bumper was for a different car. So he’s going to order a new one and have me painted again but it will be free this time, no pay for me. This happen all the time at my work. I’ve been in so many auto body shops company and they usually pay their employees for redo. f it’s a painters fault then it will be okay to redo it without getting paid.

Asked on December 23, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if it was your fault, they could require you to pay the costs you caused them through your fault--e.g., they could effectively require you to repay them any amounts you were paid for the wrong job. (When employee carelessness costs and employer money, they can recover it from the employee.) So if it was your fault, they don't have to pay you twice for the work--they only have to pay you once, since the could recover the "wasted" money spent when you were at fault in doing the wrong bumper. So in one way or another, they don't have to pay you twice (even if other shops do) and doing the redo for free is probably the easiest, most-straightforward way to resolve the matter.
If you were not at fault, but the shop was at fault--gave you the wrong  bumper, told you to paint the wrong bumper, etc.--then they would have to pay you for the redo, and you could sue them (e.g. in small claims court) if they don't.

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