Cartop Sign Cords... do your drivers Buy them?

Hey all,
Wanted to get some insight as to what you are all doing with the Cords that are breaking on your Cartop signs?

I get mine from Cabbie for my XL’s, but at $7 a pop this is starting to become ridicules.

I know of a small chain that makes the drivers buy their own cords, we buy and store them, then when they break their cord, we charge them for a new one, they are charging the drivers $10 a cord. I can see this helping them not only with cost, but the drivers will be much more careful with them seeing as though their gonna have to flip the bill for them.


I see nothing wrong with issuing a free one when they are hired and requiring them to pay for replacement. The PJ I work at is completely out of them since they mysteriously disappear. I can see it being part of the issued equipment for drivers.

Is this in the correct forum?

I had the same issue about three months ago. I just had a box of cords and told my drivers to grab them at the beginning of their shift. Low and behold, they started to disappear or breaking.

So I issued a “Illuminated Car Sign Agreement” to all of my drivers. Basically it states, I am issuing them a cord. They are to use them during all PM shifts. If they lose the cord, they must buy a new one from me. If they do not use them, they lose half of their delivery reimbursement for the night.

The drivers all signed this agreement and I put it in their file.

Since then, I have only had one incident of a non-illuminated sign. No missing or broken cords since.

Cutting a drivers mileage reimbursment could result in a minimum wage violation.

If drivers are already being paid minimum wage or less, forcing them to pay for anything that is r4quired for the job is an illegal minimum wage violation.

Think carefully and consult competant legal advice before making and deductions from or charges to a minimum wage employees pay.

From: Fact Sheet #16: Deductions From Wages for Uniforms and Other Facilities Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Other Items: Employers at times require employees to pay or reimburse the employer for other items. The cost of any items which are considered primarily for the benefit or convenience of the employer would have the same restrictions as apply to reimbursement for uniforms. In other words, no deduction may be made from an employee’s wages which would reduce the employee’s earnings below the required minimum wage or overtime compensation.

Some examples of items which would be considered to be for the benefit or convenience of the employer are tools used in the employee’s work, damages to the employer’s property by the employee or any other individuals, financial losses due to clients/customers not paying bills, and theft of the employer’s property by the employee or other individuals. Employees may not be required to pay for any of the cost of such items if, by so doing, their wages would be reduced below the required minimum wage or overtime compensation. This is true even if an economic loss suffered by the employer is due to the employee’s negligence.

Employers may not avoid FLSA minimum wage and overtime requirements by having the employee reimburse the employer in cash for the cost of such items in lieu of deducting the cost from the employee’s wages.

Can always count on you to ruin a thread…

IF $10 for a sign cord puts you below minimum wage for the week you are a sorry azz driver and need to find other employment!

If a driver is already paid minimum wage or less, ANY deduction or charge would cause a minimum wage violation.

What about tips?

If you want tips, become a delivery driver! Otherwise stay outta my pocket for the cost of running your business!

Retention of Tips: The law forbids any arrangement between the employer and the tipped employee whereby any part of the tip received becomes the property of the employer. A tip is the sole property of the tipped employee. Where an employer does not strictly observe the tip credit provisions of the Act, no tip credit may be
claimed and the employees are entitled to receive the full cash minimum wage, in addition to retaining tips they may\should have received

From page 38 of the DOL Field Operations Handbook (FOH) chapter 30

“Tips in excess of statutory tip credit may not be credited against uniform purchase and maintenance costs”

I didn’t say I wanted your gd tips… Jeez…

All I was saying is if drivers break them, its not ok to make them pay for it with their tips?

So its ok for drivers going around breaking things and not have to pay for it?

Not if they are paid minimum wage or less. You really need to read what I post. I already covered this:

Employees may not be required to pay for any of the cost of such items if, by so doing, their wages would be reduced below the required minimum wage or overtime compensation. This is true even if an economic loss suffered by the employer is due to the employee’s negligence.

Here are more examples:

Typical Problems
(1) A minimum wage employee working as a cashier is illegally required to reimburse the employer for a cash drawer shortage. (2) An employer improperly requires tipped employees to pay for customers who walk out without paying their bills or for incorrectly totaled bills. (3) An employer furnishes elaborate uniforms to employees and makes them responsible for having the uniforms cleaned. (4) An employee driving the employer’s vehicle causes a wreck, and the employer holds the employee responsible for the repairs, thereby reducing the employee’s wages below the minimum wage. (5) A security guard is required to purchase a gun for the job, and the cost causes him/her to not earn the minimum wage. (6) The cost of an employer-required physical examination cuts into an employee’s minimum wage or overtime compensation.

I really do not know of any driver that would refuse to just pay for it when its their fault for it disappearing, breaking or stolen especially if they agreed to the rule before hand… If you whipped out those stupid laws I would have just fired you on the spot. Then what?

I don’t know what you expect out of us and why you are posting this crap in this thread other than to manipulate our words and thoughts to make us look like these law breaking bad people.

I expect businesses to comply with minimum wage laws. Is that too much to expect?

Minimum wage laws are “crap” and “stupid”? How so?

You would fire people for pointing out that an employer is breaking the law? Please explain that further. Are you advocating breaking minimum wage laws?

If I was fired for pointing out a law violation, I would likely sue the business, and not accept any settlement offers that did not close the business. I do not condone violating minimum wage laws. In my opinion, it is theft, pure and simple.

*TimPMQ Edit

Keep personal attacks out of the discussion or you will be banned.

Yes. Please do cite where and when it is acceptable to pay less than minimum wage. Also, please quote where anything I have posted is wrong in accordance with the FLSA. Please include references as I always do. … 4_FLSA.htm

The Supreme Court held that an employee may not waive his or her rights to compensation due under the FLSA. See Brooklyn Sav. Bank v. O’Neil, 324 U.S. 697 (1945); see also Wage and Hour Opinion Letter FLSA2004-15 (Oct. 18, 2004).

Even if an employee agrees to the terms. Minimum wage laws cannot be legally violated.

Yes. Please do cite where and when it is acceptable to pay less than minimum wage

Did I say Pay less than minimum wage???

I have shown in previous threads how your own cut and paste DOL decade old handbook allows for a company that pays tipped employees more than the required tipped minimum wage to use the excess wages to be credited to costs incurred with the job. In this case those costs could be the sign cords. But since you have repeatedly forgotten this page that happens to not support your arguements here’s the reference yet again: page 39 of . Now this is a reference you have used on this board many times. Please try to remember in the future that this allows for an employer to pay a tipped employee the federal minimum wage and still charge that employee for costs incurred such as uniforms or sign cords.

simple answer.

I pay two mileage rates - one (higher) for having a lit car topper and one (lower) for not having a car topper. I issue a lead when they start and they sign a car topper agreement. If the lead is broken (other than normal wear and tear) I no longer pay the higher car topper rate. If the driver wants the higher rate they need to buy a replacement lead - I supply them at cost. No wage deduction. How they pay for the replacement lead is their choice.

Whilst Gregster STILL hasn’t learnt anything about how he gets his message across without p***ing off most of the posters on this site, he is in fact correct. Any deduction which brings an employee’s wage below MW is the same as paying below MW, which would be illegal. HOWEVER, as I’m sure a lot of use pay over MW any deduction made which does not bring them below MW is fine as long as you have consent to make such a deduction.

See Gregster its easy to explain without quoting something which is 10 years old! And to clarify IMO I think Steveo’s use of the words ‘crap’ and ‘stupid’, although unclear, relate to your ‘posts’ rather than the actual content!

Exactly Wizzle. This doesn’t need to be a legal issue.

Employers do not need to deduct from pay for the cords.

Employers do not even need to require that a driver purchase the cords from them.

Employers CAN require that the drivers use a lighted car sign. How the driver goes about doing that is the drivers business. Just like the employer requires the driver have a car.

This doesn’t need to be a compensation issue at all.

If the driver buys the cord himself, he can of course keep the cord even after employment stops. It’s his.