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Honda miscalculated employee bonuses. Now it wants the money back

Honda has asked hundreds of employees at its vehicle plant in Ohio to pay back part of their bonuses after claiming that it overpaid them.

September 21, 2022 / 03:41 PM IST

Honda has asked hundreds of employees at its vehicle plant in Ohio to pay back part of their bonuses after claiming that it overpaid them.

The Japanese car manufacturer gave employees nine days (until September 22) to return part of their bonus money, reports Fortune. In a memo sent to employees at its Marysville factory, Honda said it had miscalculated the bonus amount.

Employees were given two options: they could either return the extra money upfront or have it deducted from future paycheques. Those who failed to respond would automatically have the money deducted from their salary.

“Not a lot of people can handle this kind of a hit,” the wife of a Honda employee told NBC News, speaking on the condition of anonymity. She said her husband had been asked to return almost 8% of his bonus, which amounted to hundreds of dollars.

“That’s, you know, a car payment. That’s half of our mortgage,” she said. “That’s two, three weeks worth of groceries. That’s a lot of money for us.”

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Legally, though, it appears that Honda is within its rights to ask for the money back.

“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.

Honda confirmed that it had overpaid its employees but refused to disclose by how much. “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. Since this is a personnel issue, we have no further information to provide related to this matter,” the company said in a statement.
Sanya Jain
first published: Sep 21, 2022 03:37 pm
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