Honda blasted for ordering hundreds of workers at Ohio factory to REPAY part of their bonuses

Auto giant Honda has come under fire after it asked workers at one of its US factories to repay hundreds of dollars in bonuses they received earlier this month, saying it had overpaid many checks by mistake and now needed that extra money.

The automaker’s brazen denial came on Tuesday, when staff at the Marysville Honda Motors Co. plant in Ohio – which employs thousands of workers – received a memo demanding they return bonus money overpaid.

The amount of each overpayment is currently unclear, as it varies from person to person depending on salary – but the bonuses in many cases amount to hundreds of dollars and have been distributed to thousands of factory workers in Ohio.

After announcing that premiums had been overpaid in error in Tuesday’s bulletin, officials at the Japanese automaker wrote that workers would have just nine days to decide how they will repay the extra money.

Staff members will have the option of deducting the money from future paychecks or bonuses, or paying the outstanding amount in advance in cash or by check.

Those who opt out of these options, the company said on Tuesday, will have the excess deducted from their default future bonuses.

Workers will have until September 22 to decide how to repay the money – an ordeal for many who are used to receiving bonuses and did not expect to return some of them.

Some staff at the plant – one of twelve factories in the country that collectively produce more than 5 million cars a year – have since questioned whether the company was justified in collecting the overpayments, with a lawyer saying that Honda was right to ask for the forced refunds.

Auto giant Honda has come under fire after asking workers at one of its US factories to repay hundreds of dollars in bonuses they received earlier this month, saying it had overpaid many checks by mistake and now needed the extra money.

The automaker's quit came on Tuesday, when staff at the Marysville Honda Motors Co. plant in central Ohio (pictured) received a memo demanding they return money from overpaid bonuses  The factory currently employs thousands of workers

The automaker’s quit came on Tuesday, when staff at the Marysville Honda Motors Co. plant in central Ohio (pictured) received a memo demanding they return money from overpaid bonuses The factory currently employs thousands of workers

In a statement to DailyMail.com on Sunday, officials at the popular auto retailer confirmed that they had overpaid several employees last week, but did not say how much the payments were and how many were issued.

They added that officials are currently working to remedy the situation “to minimize any potential impact on our associates.”

“Earlier this month, Honda paid out bonuses to its associates, some of whom received overpayments,” a Honda spokesperson conceded after being asked about the overpayments.

“Compensation issues are a sensitive matter,” the rep wrote in an email, adding that “we are working quickly on this to minimize any potential impact to our associates.”

The spokesperson added that since this was a “staff issue”, the company would not provide any further information about it.”

The wife of an employee who received an excess bonus of several hundred dollars told NBC4 that he owed Honda almost 8% of his previously awarded bonus.

The woman spoke on condition of anonymity for fear that her husband would be reprimanded for speaking.

“Not many people can handle that kind of hit,” the wife of a Honda employee told the station, providing a copy of the memo her husband had received from his employer earlier in the week.

She added that when her husband first came home with the bonus check earlier in the month, she asked him if the amount seemed right – to which she told him it was. , citing that he had received more substantial bonuses from the company in the past.

‘I asked him that. I said, you know, ‘Was that… the highest check you ever got for a bonus check? [Did you think] that sounded weird?’ And he said no, it was not the highest he had ever reached.

The memo, however, claimed that her husband owed just under ten percent of his total bonus payment, which amounted to hundreds of dollars.

“It’s, you know, a car payment. It’s half of our mortgage,’ the worker’s wife told NBC4 in an interview on Friday where she explained the difficulty of repaying the sum, which the family, like so many others, had already accounted for.

It’s been two, three weeks of groceries. That’s a lot of money for us.

After announcing that premiums had been overpaid in error in Tuesday's bulletin, officials at the Japanese automaker wrote that workers would have just nine days to decide how they will repay the extra money.

After announcing that premiums had been overpaid in error in Tuesday’s bulletin, officials at the Japanese automaker wrote that workers would have just nine days to decide how they will repay the extra money.

According to a lawyer, Honda is legally entitled to seek reimbursement of overpaid wages, adding that there is no recourse for the hundreds of workers affected and their wages.

“Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which applies to all employers in the United States, it is abundantly clear that overpayments of bonuses or wages can be recovered by the employer,” Sarah said. Cole, a law professor at Ohio State University, told NBC4.

Cole’s advised employees affected by the surveillance to make the required refunds and choose the option that is best for them.

“Honda could take this to court,” said the lawyer, who specializes in labor and labor law.

“But of course it would cost them a lot of money and obviously wouldn’t look very positive from a publicity perspective.”

She added, “So I’m sure they’re hoping to have a voluntary agreement with the employees that the employee voluntarily refunds the overpayment.”

According to Cole, the mistake of overpaying employees carries no penalties, protecting the automaker’s brass despite presenting a difficult situation for its workers, who are not unionized.

The company currently employs nearly 30,000 associates in the United States alone.

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