There is hardly a person who does not like to receive extra bonuses when a job is done well.
In the conditions of an ever-increasing financial crisis, bonuses are even more desirable, and no matter how honest an employee is, the probability that he will keep quiet if he has been paid too much is minimal.
The Honda factory in the American state of Ohio finds itself in a similar delicate situation.
The management of the plant unwittingly overpaid its employees, and now, realizing the mistake, wants the money back.
The factory, located in Marysville, Ohio, paid higher-than-required bonuses to workers there, after which they were told they had to pay back the overpayments by Sept. 22 or lose their bonuses for the rest of the year.
The wife of a Honda employee spoke to NBC4 about the blunder.
She and her husband wish to remain anonymous so he can still keep his job. The wife tells in detail about the ultimatum given by the factory, adding that for some families returning the amount can be literally overwhelming.
“Not everyone can handle such a financial blow,” says the woman. She does not hide that she is puzzled by the large amount her husband receives, even when it is transferred to his account. “I asked him why he got so much money and if he thought it was strange,” the wife told NBC4.
However, the man tries to hide the misunderstanding and lies that he has received such high and even bigger bonuses on other occasions.
Now he and his colleagues will find the silence salty because Honda wants 8 percent of their monthly salary back.
“This is a lot of money. This is our mortgage payment for one month. This is our purchases from the supermarket for two, even three weeks,” the woman explains. The factory employs a total of 3,900 employees, some of whom are responsible for Honda’s more luxurious segment – Acura.
Therefore, it is not clear what proportion of these workers owe money to the company.
It is clear that the company has offered its employees flexible schemes to pay back the bonuses such as deferred installments and deductions from future wages.
However, it seems rather tragicomic that a company valued at $42 billion would ask its workers to pay it back. However, no matter how strange the situation is for Honda, in this case the American law is on the side of the employer and states that he has every right to seek the overpayments.
“Honda can get what it’s owed in court,” argued attorney Sarah Cole from Ohio State University.
So Cole emphasizes that it makes more sense for workers to voluntarily return their bonuses than to have to defend themselves in court, which will inevitably lead to additional legal costs.
And perhaps the sums are needed by Honda to continue with its ambitions to create a gigafactory for the production of batteries together with LG. The battery plant for electric cars will also be located in Ohio, and the investment in it will amount to 4.4 billion dollars.
According to the press release released by the company, construction of the factory will begin next year and it should be ready by 2025 at the latest. By 2050, Honda should have achieved complete carbon neutrality in the production of its cars.
As for the company’s employees, it might be wisest to check exactly what bonuses have been transferred to them, because they may have to pay them back if nothing happens.