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-   -   Material damage: employee responsibility (https://www.englishforum.ch/employment/279109-material-damage-employee-responsibility.html)

djarzic 17.01.2018 09:38

Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Hello

My former employer is asking me to pay an invoice to repair my professional laptop after I handed it back (there were scars on the screen). Do you know if I have to pay for it or if it falls under employer responsibility? I searched the Web for the answer but could not find it...

Many thanks!

Kaloid123 17.01.2018 10:18

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Not a lawyer but normally computer would be treated as work tool, just like a wrench to a handyman. So:
- if computer was provided and used in normal performance of your duties (you didn't ask for one when you didn't need/use in your job)
- you used it with reasonable care and responsibility (e.g. you didn't damage intentionally)
- your work contract doesn't specify that you provide all tools needed for your work, or that you are responsible if employer provides them

then I (and I believe most courts/arbitrators) don't see grounds for employer to ask any costs even if computer was accidentally totally destroyed.

Also note, computers are fully depreciated and have book value of zero after 3 years. Repairs on 2-year old computers are often more than BV.

Being correct and being wise aren't always the same thing. Maybe it's wise just to pay repair to avoid conflict or risk getting non-enthusiastic Arbeitszeugnis.

Alternative (if computer is more than 2 years old) is to decline paying the repair but offer to buy the computer for company book value.

Good luck!

Urs Max 17.01.2018 10:34

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by djarzic (Post 2898055)
Hello

My former employer is asking me to pay an invoice to repair my professional laptop after I handed it back (there were scars on the screen). Do you know if I have to pay for it or if it falls under employer responsibility? I searched the Web for the answer but could not find it...

Many thanks!

Under normal conditions and if you cared for the laptop reasonably well you can't be held liable. Why/how did it get in disrepair?

un3366 17.01.2018 10:41

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Sorry if I am missing it, what BV stands for? Would love to give a thank you click but I don't know how to do it.
Sound advice all together

roegner 17.01.2018 10:50

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by un3366 (Post 2898093)
Sorry if I am missing it, what BV stands for? Would love to give a thank you click but I don't know how to do it.
Sound advice all together

Book Value

Samaire13 17.01.2018 11:42

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Unless you threw it out the window on purpose, I can't see why you would be held liable.

A few minor scratches are normal wear and tear. So no, no need to pay.

fatmanfilms 17.01.2018 11:48

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Samaire13 (Post 2898137)
Unless you threw it out the window on purpose, I can't see why you would be held liable.

A few minor scratches are normal wear and tear. So no, no need to pay.

The company either insures or self insures for loss or damage, it's not the responsibility of an employee to insure company property.

Blueangel 17.01.2018 12:14

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Is there a clause regarding this in your employment contract?

me.anon 17.01.2018 12:30

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
If you have a third party liability insurance (Haftpflicht Versicherung), which you are advised to have here anyway, just tell the inform the employer of your intention to tend the bill to the insurance company. Whether they pay or not is another matter.

Squeeeez 17.01.2018 15:04

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
At a place where I worked a few years ago you had to sign that you were responsible for any damages to laptops etc. (and two guys had their laptops stolen and had to pay for them. ouch.)
Unless you sign such a declaration, it's their own responsibility.

Chuff 17.01.2018 15:34

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by djarzic (Post 2898055)
Hello

My former employer is asking me to pay an invoice to repair my professional laptop after I handed it back (there were scars on the screen). Do you know if I have to pay for it or if it falls under employer responsibility? I searched the Web for the answer but could not find it...

Many thanks!

You are not liable for damages to a work laptop, unless you agreed/signed a contract specifically saying that you were. Especially if we are just talking wear and tear through normal use.

k_and_e 17.01.2018 15:47

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeeeez (Post 2898249)
At a place where I worked a few years ago you had to sign that you were responsible for any damages to laptops etc. (and two guys had their laptops stolen and had to pay for them. ouch.)
Unless you sign such a declaration, it's their own responsibility.

just wondering, is something like this allowed?
i think the employer always needs to prove "fahrlässigkeit".

bigblue2 17.01.2018 16:02

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
you must have really pissed off your employer, or totally trashed a new laptop, which is it?

NotAllThere 17.01.2018 17:15

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bigblue2 (Post 2898274)
you must have really pissed off your employer, or totally trashed a new laptop, which is it?

Option 3. The employer is an idiot.

bigblue2 17.01.2018 17:40

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NotAllThere (Post 2898314)
Option 3. The employer is an idiot.

op says screen is scratched, that really takes some bad care on a laptop, a tablet I could just about understand, but how to you scratch a laptop screen??

NotAllThere 17.01.2018 17:57

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bigblue2 (Post 2898326)
op says screen is scratched, that really takes some bad care on a laptop, a tablet I could just about understand, but how to you scratch a laptop screen??

It is intruiging! But irrelevant to whether the employer is an idiot. :D

Treverus 17.01.2018 18:01

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bigblue2 (Post 2898326)
op says screen is scratched, that really takes some bad care on a laptop, a tablet I could just about understand, but how to you scratch a laptop screen??

Hard to believe, but a lot of laptops have touchscreens these days(?).

Anyways: Even when I worked for the cheapest boss ever did he have an insurance for our laptops.

Mica 18.01.2018 10:43

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...dex.html#a321a

"Art. 321a: [The employee] must use the employer's machinery, work tools, technical equipment, installations and vehicles in the appropriate manner and treat them and all materials placed at his disposal for the performance of his work with due care."

https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...dex.html#a321e
Art. 321e:
1 The employee is liable for any loss or damage he causes to the employer whether wilfully or by negligence.
2 The extent of the duty of care owed by the employee is determined by the individual employment contract, taking due account of the occupational risk, level of training and technical knowledge associated with the work as well as the employee's aptitudes and skills of which the employer was or should have been aware.

bigblue2 18.01.2018 11:02

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Treverus (Post 2898335)
Hard to believe, but a lot of laptops have touchscreens these days(?).

Anyways: Even when I worked for the cheapest boss ever did he have an insurance for our laptops.

was he using a pen knife as a stylus??? sorry, scratching a laptop screen isn't exactly easy, even a touch screen, a tablet I could accept screen damage within reason but you'd have to be really 'clumsy' do damage a laptop.

slammer 18.01.2018 11:08

Re: Material damage: employee responsibility
 
Now I want to know how it got scarred.::confused:


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