Should A Cashier be responsible for losses?

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Should A Cashier be responsible for losses?

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.

JVH

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

10 Responses

  1. Woof Woof! I agree as well.
    I know it is hard if it was an honest mistake, but many times these are not “accidents”. Beyond checking the cash drawer at the end of the shift, the Cashier is usually held responsible for losses due to non existent validations on a ticket, manually entering the wrong time, or date (specially at an airport). More importantly, why are they entering the time and date manually??
    Remember, the entire crew is watching what is done on a shortage, their grape vine is far better than texting, IM’s, or emails. If you don’t take a stand, soon there won’t be any money left in the register except for the few honest employees that we know do exist in this industry.
    The alternative? More POF units and credit card transactions and less opportunity to pay with cash; hint hint Union, that also means less employees and that means less dues and less pension contributions.

  2. Just an FYI. Ampco provides 40 hours of training for each cashier before allowing them to be on their own, sometimes more. They also have extremely stringent auditing procedures.

  3. Not true…Ampco has the worst training support in the industry. When things go bad, they toss the employee under the bus. It’s a terrible place to work.

  4. Ampco System Parking …….Rich Kindorf will lead the company into the ground. Tom Barnett, he is NOT! Let’s see how many employees he has that are worth anything by the end of 2009.

  5. Ampco is known for one thing, being cheap. They try to blame all their mismanagement on the employees and try to make them pay for the most ridiculous things. They also attempt to hire as many people as they can who they feel wouold not be familiar with labor laws so they can take advantage of them.

  6. I couldn’t disagree more–my wife works as a waitress in a restaurant owned by a woman who is notoriously bad at balancing the register. Several times she has forced my wife to repay as much as $50 for what she claimed were cash register shortages, only to find out later that she had made a mistake. Of course she doesn’t always catch her errors and my wife is often left “holding the bag”. Also, according to the owner, the register is “over” nearly as often as she claims it is “under”, yet she never offers to pay my wife the difference under those circumstances. According to most State laws an owner must be able to prove intentional dishonesty or willful negligence in order to deduct money from an employee’s check, but just try fighting an owner over this and see what happens.

  7. “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.”
    Are you kidding me? First of all, by whom are you “told” these things? So now, not only are owners good-hearted, understanding, honest and infallible, but it is also “deregeur” (sic)that employees are unprofessional, irresponsible, sneaky thieves. Boy, I don’t know how those poor owners stand it. I must have missed this last paragraph the first time through, because never in my life have I heard such one-sided, self-serving claptrap. Mistakes do happen, granted, and most State laws understand this and rightfully count it as a cost of doing business. To automatically assume that the error is the fault and responsibility of the person with the least power in the relationship is not only typical, it is, in most cases, illegal.

  8. I can’t get over the comment above explaining that AMPCO “Cheapco” has the most stringent audit procedures. It’s just not the case. It’s actually the oposite; The culture is a cut throught cover your ass, hands off approach by their leadership team.
    It’s a joke company lead by a few clowns!

  9. Did you ever expect a corporation to have a conscience,when it has no soul to damned,and no body to be kicked?Do you understand?

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