In a bizarre incident, Japanese carmaker company Honda has asked hundreds of its employees to ay back part of the bonus that the firm had given them earlier. The incident happened at the Marysville, Ohio division of Honda, which gave its several of its employees an overpayment, which the company now wants back. The bonus was paid earlier this month, according to reports. The company has now said that it needs refunds of the extra money that it accidentally paid out.
Honda’s Marysville plant manufactures cars like Accord, CR-V, Integra, TLX and NSX.
The company had earlier in the month sent a memo to the said employees, giving them nine days of time to return the extra bonus, according to a report by Fortune. That deadline ends today, on September 22. Honda said in the memo that it had miscalculated the bonus amount.
As per the report, the employees got two options — either return the extra money upfront or get it deducted from future paycheques. For those employees who would not respond, the money would automatically get deducted from their salaries.
“Earlier this month Honda provided bonus payments to its associates, some of whom received overpayments. Issues related to compensation are a sensitive matter and we are working quickly on this item to minimize any potential impact to our associates,” Honda was quoted as saying by Fox Business Digital on Saturday.
“Since this is a personnel issue, we have no further information to provide related to this matter,” the spokesperson further told Fox Business Digital.
According to a report by NBC4, Honda employees at the Ohio plant said returning the money will be hard for their families. “Not a lot of people can handle this kind of a hit,” a wife of one of the employees told the publication as she showed a copy of the memo her husband received from Honda.
“I asked him that — I said, you know, ‘Was this… the highest check you’d ever gotten for a bonus check — that it seemed weird?’ And he said no, it wasn’t the highest he’d ever gotten,” she said. The bonus repayment of the said employee amounts to hundreds of dollars.
“That’s, you know, a car payment. That’s half of our mortgage,” his wife said. “That’s two, three weeks worth of groceries. That’s a lot of money for us.”
However, legally, Honda is apparently in the right course about asking back for the bonus, a lawyer quoted by NBC4 said.
“Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which applies to all employers in the United States, it’s quite clear that overpayments of bonuses or wages can be recouped by the employer,” said Sarah Cole, a law professor at the Ohio State University. She said that employees should choose the best option for themselves.
While Honda confirmed the move of asking for a repayment, it did not disclose the amount of money it wants for employees.