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Marriott Does It Their Way

Tales From The Front Desk: You Have To Pay


4 hotel skulliesFrom AviGABS, Tales From The Front Desk

It was said from day one when I started that if the cash floats, front or back, are short, that the employee who found the shortage must make up for it with their own money. At first I didn't really pay attention to this because shortages are usually no more than a dollar or two. No big deal. But yesterday I was working alone and we had an unusually busy day. (All available rooms are currently occupied.) Because of that, I probably wasn't as thorough as I could have been, and somewhere along the line, my back float was shortchanged by twenty bucks. I discovered this at the end of my shift, and I made sure to count and recount and recount AGAIN because my math skills suck, but no, even after my coworker and GM checked it over themselves, we were still short.

So of course I get the whole, "Well you really need to make sure you count the money you recieve when someone asks for change," speech (No shit Sherlock, my math skills might be bad, but I'm still a fully functional adult.)

So the blame was more or less falling on me because I was the only one at the desk. Granted, I understand that the money in both floats is my responsibility, but when my boss told me that I would have to make up for the missing twenty bucks with money from my own wallet, I saw red. This is not ten cents or a dollar, this is TWENTY. There's no guarantee that this mistake was directly my fault.

I told my boss I don't have twenty bucks. Then I went home, found the Employment Standards Branch Fact Sheet for my country online and there it says that it is in fact ILLEGAL to make employees pay for business expenses with their own money.

I do plan on making a stink about this. My boss and the owner of the hotel are not from this country, and maybe where they come from it IS legal to do this sort of thing. But in this country, it's not ok. My boss hasn't come in to work yet, but when he does I'm going to try and have a nice, civil chat with him and do my darndest not to unleash the PMS demon lurking within me. I also printed off a PDF of the Employment Standards Fact Sheet just in case he needs to see it in writing.

Badge 666What really gets me is that the owner of the hotel is rich--his multiple luxury cars attest to that--but when it comes to running his various businesses, he's as cheap as it gets. I bet twenty bucks is like peanuts to him, but there's no way he'll fix it himself. I can't help but wonder if I'm putting my job at risk by rocking the boat like this.

There are people who have worked here for YEARS and never complained about this illegal policy. What do I, as someone who's only been here a couple months, think I can do about it? I don't want to lose my job over twenty bucks. But on the other hand, if I'm fired maybe it's for the best. I'd rather work somewhere where high standards and morality is important.

Has anyone else had to deal with this? If there are any further developments I'll let you know, but I hope that it's just resolved in a peaceful manner.

EDIT: I have been asked to update on this--so far the only reply I've gotten from my manager is "don't worry about it." I'm not sure if this means "don't worry about it, we're going to let it go" or "don't worry about it, but we still expect you to pay."

At this point I don't really want to ask. My boss said something along the lines of "Well there have been times where the float is short and I've had to balance it myself. Everyone here has had to do it."

Like, yes, I know that, but that doesn't change the fact that it's illegal and I don't really appreciate the guilt trip.

The float still hasn't been fixed, so I have no idea where we stand. I'll let you all know if anything else happens.

UPDATE: One week later, the back float has finally been fixed and I haven't heard anything more.





Years ago I worked a job where I handled money from an unlocked cash drawer. Every time my boss waited on someone, the drawer came up short. It happened so often we were told they would write us up if it continued. The 4 ladies in the office threw a fit and demanded that if we were going to be held responsible, we wanted individual locking drawers and to be in charge of access during our shift. As soon as that was implemented and the boss no longer had free rein, the shortages stopped. Not long after that the boss lost her job. I wonder why?


First of all, NEVER pay the $20. Let the company come after you for it.
If and when they do, escalate. Start by contacting your ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE. (In the US, the governing law could be Federal or State -- contact your representative at the appropriate level.) Ask them for assistance. NAME your employer and give full details of the controversy. Mention that you think your employer is in violation of the law.
Then stand back and watch for fireworks when the Labor Department (or whatever) contacts your employer.

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