Some think so:
DENVER – Parking cashiers like Tina Jordan at Denver’s International Airport literally have to pay for their mistakes. The company, Ampco System Parking, makes its employees reimburse the company if their drawers are short on cash.
Jordan had to pay back Ampco $11 after she accidentally undercharged drivers who were leaving the parking lot at DIA. Jordan showed Denver’s 9 Wants to Know Investigative Reporter Deborah Sherman paper receipts of her payments to Ampco that said "shortage payment" written in the memo line. Jordan said Ampco managers wouldn’t pay her until she reimbursed them the $11.
The practice violates state and federal law, according to Mike McArdle, the Director of Colorado’s Division of Labor. "They shouldn’t be doing this," McArdle said. "This is just a normal cost of doing business when you’re in the parking lot industry and you can’t deduct for it." McArdle said that’s tantamount to making a waiter pay for a meal after a diner leaves without paying or making a waiter pay for broken dishes.
In an e-mail, Ampco Senior Vice President Arnold Klauber wrote, "Ampco does not deduct shortages from nor delay employee paychecks." He also wrote, "Ampco’s practices comply with state and federal law and are standard within the parking industry."After the CO Division of Labor contacted Ampco Parking, Klauber said in an e-mail to Denver’s 9NEWS that it would review its policies.
"…The company has initiated discussions with the employees’ union to propose ending the requirement that parking cashiers at Denver International Airport reimburse the company for cash shortages," wrote Klauber. "While Ampco’s current policy is legal and common within the parking industry and all reimbursements are remitted to Ampco’s client, the company is seeking alternative and more effective methods to reduce and prevent loss or theft."
Frankly I’m with Ampco on this one. Its the same as if you work for a construction company and the company provides you a set of tools. The first set is free, after that,you have to buy replacement tools. In our business, the money is part the set of tools provided to the cashier. (Cash drawer, uniform, booth, computer, etc). The cashier should be responsible for it.
In restaurants, the waitress IS responsible for your tab. If you don’t pay, she has to do so. Of course there is an alternative. If a person loses $30 out of the drawer, they can simply be fired. I don’t like that one. I do like the pay for shortages. Of course there is a problem with that. Does it mean that if a cashier is "Over" that they can keep the money. But then, how often do you find that a cashier is "over?"
In a bank, the cashiers must balance to the penny every day. If they don’t, they are gone. Its that simple. Ampco is there are the representative of the owner, in the case Denver International Airport. They have a responsibility for all the money that is collected. They have to expect that their employees do their jobs properly and correctly.
It would seem that the union should be working on programs to ensure that their members are properly trained to do the job for which they were hired. This concept is that losses are a "cost of doing business" is one that the parking industry has accepted for eons. "Oh well, so we lose 10% of the revenue, it can’t be helped, its just a cost of doing business."
Obviously Arnold and his company are trying to change this attitude. Nothing but good can come from that. I’m a bit concerned about his last quote above. Does this mean that the company is folding to the Union and will take the heat off the cashiers? We need more stringent supervision and rules, not less.
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t expect to be called professional, to raise the standards in the industry, and to have quality personnel and service without expecting the best out of your staff.
"Industry Standard" is that the cashiers are responsible. The operator usually works out payment plans for the cashiers. I’m told that if you track losses cashier by cashier, you will often find that the "shortages" are a couple of days before payday. The cashier is giving him or herself a loan, to be repaid when they get their paycheck. This seems to be deregeur. However it also means that the professionalism that is required for our business doesn’t exist. Holding the cashier responsible for the money in the drawer is a first step.;
Don’t fold Ampco.