Honda criticized for ordering hundreds of Ohio factory workers to refund some of their bonuses

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Automotive 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.

The carmaker’s brazen rejection came on Tuesday, when staff at the Marysville Honda Motors Co. plant in Ohio — which employs thousands of employees — was sent a memo demanding that they return money from overpaid bonuses.

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

After the bulletin announced Tuesday that the bonuses had been wrongly overpaid, buyer wrote to the Japanese automaker that workers would have just nine days to decide how to repay the extra amounts.

Employees have the option to deduct the money from future pay stubs or bonuses, or pay the outstanding amount upfront in cash or by check.

Those who abstain from those options, the company said Tuesday, will deduct the deductible from their own risk future bonuses by default.

Workers have until September 22 to decide how to pay back the money — a hardship for many who are used to getting bonus payments and didn’t expect to give some back.

Some employees at the factory – one of 12 factories in the country that together produce more than 5 million cars a year – have since questioned whether the company is entitled to collect the overpayments, with a lawyer saying Honda is entitled to request the forced refunds.

Auto giant Honda has come under fire after it asked workers at one of its U.S. factories to refund hundreds of dollars in bonuses it received earlier this month, saying it had falsely overpaid many of the checks. and now that needs extra money

Auto giant Honda has come under fire after it asked workers at one of its U.S. factories to refund hundreds of dollars in bonuses it received earlier this month, saying it had falsely overpaid many of the checks. and now that needs extra money

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

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

In a statement to DailyMail.com Sunday, buyers at the popular car dealership confirmed they had overpaid several staffers last week, but declined to specify how much those payments were and how much was spent.

They added that managers are currently working to address the situation “to minimize the potential impact on our employees.”

“Earlier this month, Honda made bonus payments to its employees, some of whom overpaid,” a Honda spokesperson admitted after being asked about the excess bonuses.

“Compensation issues are a sensitive issue,” the representative wrote in an email, adding that “we are working quickly on this item to minimize the potential impact on our employees.”

The spokesperson added that as it was a ‘staff issue’, the company would not provide further information on the matter.”

The wife of an employee who received an additional bonus of several hundred dollars told NBC4 he owed Honda nearly 8 percent of his previously awarded bonus.

The woman spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing that his husband would be reprimanded for speaking out.

“Not many people can handle such a blow,” the wife of a Honda employee told the station, handing over a copy of the memo her husband had received from his employer earlier this week.

She added that when her husband returned home with the bonus check earlier in the month, she asked him if the amount seemed correct — which she told her, citing that he’d received more substantial bonuses from the company in the past.

‘I asked him. I said, you know, ‘Was this… the highest check you ever got for a bonus check? [Did you think] that it seemed strange?’ And he said no, it wasn’t the highest he’d ever gotten.’

However, the memo claimed that her husband owed only ten percent of his total bonus payment, which amounted to hundreds of dollars.

“That’s, you know, a car payment. That’s half our mortgage,” the worker’s wife told NBC4 in an interview on Friday, explaining how difficult it was to repay the amount that the family, like so many others, had already paid.

‘That’s two or three weeks’ worth of groceries. That’s a lot of money for us.’

After the bulletin announced Tuesday that the bonuses had been wrongly overpaid, buyer wrote to the Japanese automaker that workers would have just nine days to decide how to pay back the extra amounts.

After the bulletin announced Tuesday that the bonuses had been wrongly overpaid, buyer wrote to the Japanese automaker that workers would have just nine days to decide how to pay back the extra amounts.

According to a lawyer, Honda has a legal right to recover the 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’s pretty clear that overpaid bonuses or wages can be reclaimed by the employer,” Sarah Cole, a law professor at the United States, said. Ohio State University, to NBC4.

Cole’s advised employees affected by the surveillance to proceed with the required repayments and choose the option that best suits them.

“Honda could challenge this in court,” says the lawyer, who specializes in labor and employment law.

‘But that would of course be very expensive for them and of course not very positive from a publicity point of view.’

She added, “So I’m sure they’re hoping for a voluntary agreement with the employees that the employee will just voluntarily repay the overpaid.”

According to Cole, the mistake of overpaying workers has no penalty, protecting buyers at the automaker, despite posing a challenging situation for its non-union workers.

The company currently employs nearly 30,000 people in the US alone.

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