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Old 14.04.2011, 11:53
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A question about worker's rights.

I work in an Elderly persons home in Zürich. It has 100 Elderly people living there. I work as a carer there along with 15 other carer's.

My question is this: The head of the section for daily nursing care in the home ( Pflegeleiterin ) has introduced this penalty system in which we have to pay 10 Franks every time we are more than 1 minute late to work and also for other things such a forgetting to put ones initials on the card for giving eye drops or leaving empty drink bottles around or forgetting to hang up one's telephone at the end of the shift. And thats not the end of the list. She has not informed us to which use the money goes-said that it is for a "good cause.
As far as I know the head of the Home is unaware of this penalty system.
Is this legal? What should be correct course of action as we all agree this is not correct what she does. Thanks for help.
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Old 14.04.2011, 11:57
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Re: A question about worker's rights.

Bring it to the attention of the head of the care home? Sounds definitely dodgy to me.
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Old 14.04.2011, 11:58
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Re: A question about worker's rights.

Are you saying that nobody questoined that then and there when it came up??

Seems a bit harsh, no matter where the legalities lie...
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Old 14.04.2011, 12:09
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Re: A question about worker's rights.

Sounds brutal and is probably illegal but it sounds like things have been getting under her skin for quite a while. Maybe she is fed up having to say the same thing again and again.

If it IS legal, let me know and I'll introduce a similar system here for folk who post in the wrong place or put in Ads without prices and locations but include their email address and phone numbers. Double fine for trolls.

Best way to avoid the fines would be to stick to the rules, which don't sound all that fussy to me.
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Old 14.04.2011, 14:18
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Re: A question about worker's rights.

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Are you saying that nobody questoined that then and there when it came up??

Seems a bit harsh, no matter where the legalities lie...
Well nobody questioned it because we know that it does not bring anything to question it. She does what she wants. It's only if we take it to the person in charge of the home that anything will change.
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Old 14.04.2011, 14:22
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Re: A question about worker's rights.

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My question is this: The head of the section for daily nursing care in the home ( Pflegeleiterin ) has introduced this penalty system in which we have to pay 10 Franks every time we are more than 1 minute late to work and also for other things such a forgetting to put ones initials on the card for giving eye drops or leaving empty drink bottles around or forgetting to hang up one's telephone at the end of the shift. And thats not the end of the list. She has not informed us to which use the money goes-said that it is for a "good cause.
As soon as money's involved - and Fr. 10.00 seems very steep - I'd get very suspicious. If I were you I'd definately bring it to the attention of that person's superior.
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Old 14.04.2011, 14:58
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Re: A question about worker's rights.

It is totally illegal, and she must know that. It would only be legal if you signed something agreeing to the fines, or it was in your employment contract. Report her to her superior. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING without talking to your union!
http://yellow.local.ch/de/d/Zuerich/...re=z%C3%BCrich

What happens if you don't pay her? Does she take the money from your pay packet? Has she threatened to?

You can visit your local "Schlichtungsbehörden" and ask them for help in solving your situation. Free of charge.
Most of their work seems to be with flat rental problems, but they are responsible for work difficulties as well.
(In most Cantons, well in Berne and Zurich, the Mietamt and Arbeitsgericht have been combined)

http://www.gerichte-zh.ch/themen/arbeit/waehrend-arbeitsverhaeltnis/arbeitsverhinderung/grundsatz.html

http://yellow.local.ch/en/q/?what=Schlichtungsbeh%C3%B6rde&where=Z%C3%BCrich+% 28Canton%29&cid=directories

Google translations follow, from original Internet webpages:

Under Article 197 of the Swiss Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) is prior to any judicial dispute - subject to the exceptions in Article 198 of Code of Civil Procedure - to conduct a conciliation procedure (formerly reconciliation attempt) before a regional arbitration authority. These attempts at informal negotiation, the parties reconciled, so that an amicable solution can be found.
Arbitration authority in employment matters:
The arbitration authority in employment matters (attached to the district courts) has the same duties, functions and powers of justices of the peace

I cannot find anything on fines, but I did find information on bonuses,

Legal basis: (OR = Obligatorisch Recht), = Standard Laws
Share of operating results: Art 322a OR;
Commission: Article 322b OR and Article 322c OR;
Gratuity: Article 322d OR.

Many employment contracts provide today beside a fixed amount of one or more variable elements of pay before. The fixed component is the portion of the salary, each month is paid the same amount. The purpose of variable pay, is a coupling between the commerce of a company and make the amount of the owed wages, so that must be paid higher wages when business is good than bad. It also means that the variable elements of pay in some way are always uncertain because they depend on the course of business in one way or another. The variable wage settlement is much more demanding than that of fixed monthly salaries. If a large portion of the salary of variable components, the wage due to conflicts between the parties are relatively common. Payment of Akontos in commissions or other variable pay components often leads to problems, especially when the final account identifies a lower balance than the paid running balance.

The share of operating results, the commission and hourly wages are wages in the strict sense of the word. The bonus (now often bonus, incentive, etc. called), however, no reward, but a kind gift of the employer. As a result, the bonus is not for the calculation of holiday pay or overtime involved.



.

Last edited by Ittigen; 14.04.2011 at 17:25. Reason: added some more Google translations I found:
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Old 14.04.2011, 15:02
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Re: A question about worker's rights.

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If it IS legal, let me know and I'll introduce a similar system here for folk who post in the wrong place or put in Ads without prices and locations but include their email address and phone numbers. Double fine for trolls.
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It is totally illegal, and she must know that. It would only be legal if you signed something agreeing to the fines, or it was in your employment contract.
Ah well, foiled again.
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Old 14.04.2011, 15:12
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Re: A question about worker's rights.

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Well nobody questioned it because we know that it does not bring anything to question it. She does what she wants. It's only if we take it to the person in charge of the home that anything will change.
And why can't you do that? Seems the obvious solution...
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Old 14.04.2011, 16:18
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Re: A question about worker's rights.

If it's a process improvement initiative, I guess it would bring more support if they offered 50sfr bonus per month to any employee who is never more than 1 minute late during the month, never forgets to sign for eye drops, never leaves a drink sitting around and never forgets to hang up the phone. It's called an INCENTIVE. Carrot & Stick....carrots usually generate less resentment and legal problems.
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Old 14.04.2011, 16:31
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Re: A question about worker's rights.

This supervisor needs bringing down a long way. Some people abuse their power, and in my opinion this is just one case.

If you report her to the supervisor, he may or may not do something about it. If she thinks she can do what she likes I suspect he won't do anything except tell her to keep her troops in order!

If you go to the Schlichtungsbehörde she will not be prosecuted, nor will she be fired, but the supervisor will give her some stick, and maybe she will quietly leave, and hopefully learn a lesson.

As I wrote earlier, it states on the webpage the service is free of charge, as they do not want the courts to be blocked with small cases.
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Old 19.04.2011, 15:00
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Re: A question about worker's rights.

Yeah, don't bother to say thank you. Our services are free and worth nothing!
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Old 19.04.2011, 21:04
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Re: A question about worker's rights.

Hello. Thanks for all the help. I have not logged into the Forum for some days so was not aware of the replies.
We have a person who acts as an Ombudsman-she also works as a nurse in the home.In the past she also acted on our behalf on a couple of points regarding our working plan. In the end we got what we wanted but for the next 6 months, the woman who imposed these fines,gave her such a hard time that she does not want to try and do anymore with regard to the fines. Actually she is annoyed that we don't stand together and fight. For me personally I will refuse to pay any such fines but there are some that I work with who actually agree with what our boss is doing. The next time she tries to get money out of me I shall inform her that it is illegal what she is doing.

Anyhow thanks again for the good advice. Regards.
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Old 19.04.2011, 21:17
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Re: A question about worker's rights.

In your position, where everyone is doing something different, I would join the union and be sure someone is there to help you, when you need it most. The wicked witch doesn't need to know!

Gewerkschaft Unia standort Zürich
Strassburgstrasse 11
8004 Zürich

Telefon:* 044 295 15 15
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