The owners of the Bauhaus houseware store claim they overpaid their workers – and they want their money back. Union officials disagree, and believe the matter could go to court.
Commercial and service workers union VR report that many current and former employees of Bauhaus have been contacted by management recently, and informed that they were paid too much money from April through July 2012. Management has requested that employees pay this money back.
VR contends that this is against the law. They point out that, according to Icelandic labour law, management bears the sole responsibility for paying salaries. Overpaid salaries are not paid back unless they are the result of an obvious mistake, are possible to quickly correct and total a significant amount of money.
“It is the position of VR that this basic rule applies to this matter,” the union says in part. “The mistake in salary payment is the sole responsibility of Bauhaus. VR has made a written request that this payment request be dropped. The company has rejected this request, and it is likely that this matter will be settled in a court of law.”
VR says furthermore that they requested from Bauhaus a list of names of the people from whom they asked for money, in order to inform them of their rights and obligations in this matter. Bauhaus has refused to give these name to VR. The union expressed surprise at this decision, adding that they have long sought “a constructive relationship” with Bauhaus.