Set the free electricity quota in excess of payment, deduct cleaning fees from employees' salaries, print documents need to scan the code to pay...

When employees come to work, please share the office expenses?

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Enterprises' behavior of passing on operating costs has been frequently exposed, such as making employees pay electricity bills, broadband fees, office space rent, etc. Judges and lawyers pointed out that such acts are essentially to transfer operating costs and commercial risks to workers, which is a deduction of wages, and workers should take up legal weapons to protect their legitimate rights and interests.

"Deducting operating electricity expenses from employees' wages is an act of wage deduction. The employee has the right to terminate the labor contract and demand financial compensation from the company. Recently, the Guangdong Provincial Higher People's Court released a number of typical labor dispute cases, one of which involved a labor dispute involving a company requiring employees to share the office's excess electricity bills, which attracted widespread attention.

"Can the money earned be divided equally" "This is called spending your own money to work in the company" ... Many netizens called the company involved "too strange". In recent years, employers have frequently exposed their employees' behavior of making employees pay electricity bills, office space rent, management fees, etc. "Such an act of deducting workers' wages for undetermined reasons is in essence transferring operating costs and commercial risks to workers, violating workers' right to obtain labor remuneration, and is illegal." Judge Chen Diyuan of the Xiangzhou District People's Court of Zhuhai City said.

Excess electricity costs are shared by workers

On June 2021, 6, Chen Chao (pseudonym) joined a technology company in Zhuhai as the head of the R&D department. Six months later, he mailed out the Notice of Immediate Termination of Labor Contract, terminating the labor relationship with the company on the grounds that the company had not paid labor remuneration in full and on time, withheld wages, and violated rules and regulations, and required the company to pay economic compensation and pay back the overdeducted wages.

After unsuccessful negotiation, Chen Chao applied for labor arbitration, which was later sued to the Xiangzhou District People's Court for dissatisfaction with the arbitration award.

The reporter learned that the "Energy Conservation Management System" of the technology company stipulates that in order to reduce energy waste and make scientific and rational use of resources, the company has set an electricity quota for the office and business premises, and the monthly electricity fee exceeding the quota is shared by the laborers. According to this system, the company deducted his share of electricity expenses from Chen Chao's salary every month. The scope of internal consumption includes water, electricity, office supplies, medical consumables, etc.

The company claimed that it only deducted the internal consumption of electricity consumption in the office where the plaintiff worked, and deducted 2021.6 yuan in June, 32.62 yuan in July, 7.57 yuan in August, 81.8 yuan in September, 57.04 yuan in October, 9.58 yuan in November and 89.10 yuan in December 37. "I don't live in an office, and the company's monthly electricity bill deduction is not legal and reasonable." Chen Chao said.

In this regard, the Xiangzhou District People's Court held that if the employee did not consume the company's electricity due to daily life such as living in the office, the company deducted the employee's salary from the electricity cost of the office, which did not comply with the circumstances stipulated in Article 14 of the Regulations on the Payment of Wages in Guangdong Province, and there was no legal basis, and the company should refund the electricity fee deducted every month. In addition, because the company deducted the operating electricity expenses from Chen Chao's salary, which was a deduction of wages, Chen Chao had the right to terminate the labor contract and demand economic compensation.

After hearing, the court ruled that the technology company should pay Chen Chao a wage difference of 291.12 yuan and an economic compensation of 13442.35 yuan.

Some units frequently make "miracle moves" to save money

In reality, some employees said that they had similar experiences to Chen Chao. "I've never seen such a strange company! Should the company also pay dividends to every employee? Some netizens said that their company has introduced new rules and regulations, requiring employees to share the utility and rental costs of office space. In her opinion, this is undoubtedly unreasonable, and the above expenses are all operating costs of the company and have nothing to do with employees.

Coincidentally, Chen Xinran (pseudonym) is experiencing the same thing. "Our company not only allows employees to share office rent, water and electricity bills, property management fees, and equipment costs, but also deducts 1,<> yuan from operating sales every month as management salaries and social security expenses." Worried about losing his job, Chen Xinran did not directly refuse the company's request, and could only "spit bitter water" on the online platform.

Netizen "Aya" said that after joining a travel company, he found that the company had two front desks and 3 personnel, while the financial staff only had one, he felt that there was a problem with staffing. Later, she found that the company had the transfer QR code of the financial staff everywhere, and she knew that she needed to pay for printing documents, and she needed to pay for being late... What's even more outrageous is that each office has an independent electricity meter, and employees who need electricity to go to work have to recharge money first.

The reporter learned that in real life, some employers frequently make "miracle moves" in order to save money. For example, in order not to bear the cleaning fee, either let the employee take turns to clean the office space, or deduct the cleaning fee from the employee's salary; Payroll transfer fees are deducted from employees' wages; Customers break items, employees compensate...

"These actions are illegal. In labor law relations, employees receive labor remuneration based on the labor they provide, not on the production and operation of the employer. Tan Zicheng, a lawyer at Guangdong Penghao Law Firm, told the "Workers' Daily" reporter that the behavior of enterprises to pass on business risks generally includes requiring employees to pay the employer's operating expenses and operating costs, requiring employees to bear the cost of production tools, and requiring employees to bear wear and tear costs.

Passing on operating costs is a deduction of wages

Regarding the labor dispute case between Chen Chao and the company, Chen Diyuan said that the company's advocacy of energy conservation and emission reduction was good, but it changed in the actual operation process.

"The formulation of the "Energy Conservation Management System" sets the electricity quota for the office, and the electricity cost in excess of the quota is shared by the workers, which is essentially to transfer the office energy costs that the enterprise should bear to the workers, which violates the essence of labor relations and also belongs to the deduction of workers' wages." Chen Diyuan bluntly said that the essence of labor relations is that workers provide labor and receive corresponding remuneration, regardless of whether their labor can produce corresponding benefits, the unit should pay remuneration. Whether or not profits can be generated is an operational risk, and the operational risk should be borne by the employer. The public electricity cost of the office space belongs to the operating cost of the employer and shall be borne by the unit.

"As far as the current judicial practice is concerned, except for the employee's intentional or gross negligence in causing losses to the employer, and the employer has the right to require the employee to bear part of the loss, other acts of the employer in passing on business risks will generally be found to be illegal." Tan Zicheng believes that as an independent business entity, an employer should be responsible for its own profits and losses, use its dominant position to pass on business risks to employees, harm the legitimate rights and interests of employees, and be unfair to employees.

When encountering such a situation, how should workers take up the legal weapon to protect their rights and interests? Chen Diyuan said that first of all, employees should know some basic labor laws and regulations, and be able to initially identify these as illegal acts; Secondly, pay attention to the retention of evidentiary materials; Third, rights protection can be carried out in a variety of ways. You can apply to the local labor dispute arbitration committee for labor dispute arbitration within one year from the date of infringement of rights and interests. Those who are dissatisfied with the arbitral award may file a lawsuit with the people's court within 1 days from the date of receipt of the arbitral award. (Daily Worker)