Hess Natur-Textilien GmbH, Complaint 78

CONCERNING LABOUR STANDARDS
Payment of a living wage
STATUS
Closed
DATE
2014-04-03

The plaintiff was asked to resign in November 2013 and accused of having been involved in a theft which (s)he claimed was not involved in. The theft was the reason given for the resignation. In addition, the worker said (s)he had to forcefully sign an empty sheet of paper. With the signature, the plaintiff says (s)he had to agree to the payment of 30% for the last month salary only as a compensation for the theft.

Findings and conclusions

On 3 April FWF’s local complaints handler received a complaint from a worker working at a factory supplying Triaz and hessnatur. The complaint related to FWF’s labour standard ‘Payment of a living wage’.

The plaintiff was asked to resign in November 2013 and accused of having been involved in a theft which (s)he claimed was not involved in. The theft was the reason given for the resignation. In addition, the worker said (s)he had to forcefully sign an empty sheet of paper. With the signature, the plaintiff says (s)he had to agree to the payment of 30% for the last month salary only as a compensation for the theft.

FWF did not have sufficient evidence/arguments for finding the complaint grounded. FWF cannot verify whether the signed papers (which indicate that the plaintiff accepts only 30% of the last month salary as compensation for the theft) have been with or without text at the moment of signing. Given that the case could not be grounded, remediation is not applicable.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2014-05-20 Investigation

FWF informed the FWF affiliates about the case. Hessnatur and Triaz have consulted with the factory management who stated that the worker has been involved in theft and that the worker has signed leave documents with text on the paper accepting only 30% pay of the last month’s salary as compensation for the theft.
Documents have been handed in to FWF as evidence. The documents state that the worker resigns and accepts payment of 30% of the last month’s salary as a compensation for the theft. These documents have been shown to the plaintiff again who repeats having forcefully signed empty papers.
FWF has cross-checked with workers whether they could confirm the theft. This was not the case as the happenings were handled behind closed doors.
Documents checked during the audit itself confirm that the plaintiff received 30% of the last month’s salary only.

2014-05-20 Conclusion of the investigation

FWF did not have sufficient evidence/arguments for finding the complaint grounded.
FWF cannot verify whether the signed papers (which indicate that the plaintiff accepts only 30% of the last month salary as compensation for the theft) have been with or without text at the moment of signing.

2014-05-20 Remediation

Given that the case could not be grounded, remediation is not applicable.

2014-05-20 Evaluation of the complaint

FWF explained the process and conclusions to the worker. The plaintiff thanked FWF for the cooperation and accepted the outcome. FWF suggested the plaintiff to address the labour court for further steps.

2014-05-20 Closed

This complaint is closed.