Recently, we have had what is described by others as a "rash" of EMS employees refusing to return their uniforms after they leave the County's employ. The labor code generally frowns upon withholding the costs of uniforms from final pay. Is there a section that exempts the County from the Payday laws?
How are your Counties handling the problem?
One option to consider is to have EMS employees execute an agreement explicitly stating that the uniforms are county property and must be returned on the date of separation from employment. Such an agreement should state the value of the uniforms issued, and provide that the employee will be indebted to the county for the value of the uniform if not returned by some specified time after separation (or on the date of separation). Then, if the uniform isn't returned, it might be colorably argued that the former employee is indebted to the county, which would prevent the county from issuing a warrant to pay the employee until the debt is paid under Local Government Code section 154.025 (if your county has a population of less than 190,000) or section 154.045 (if your county has a population of more than 190,000).
Thanks, Scott. What I am learning is that the problem is with the folks that only work one or two shifts per month. What turns out to be their final paychecks have already been issued when they decide not to return. So, there is nothing to hold back.
I have been thinking about recommending the County no longer provide uniforms or get a deposit up front that will be refunded upon the uniforms return.
That would work. What would really be cool is if you could figure out a way to sew in a dye packet that could be remotely triggered to explode all over their closet if they don't bring the uni back. But your way is probably better.
No, Scott, I think your way is better.
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