in Soviet law, the obligation borne by production and office workers to compensate any damage they cause to the enterprise or institution for which they work.
The law provides for two basic types of financial liability and one supplementary type. Basic financial liability may be up to one-third of the worker’s monthly pay or may exceed one-third of monthly pay but not more than the full amount of damage. Supplementary financial liability, set within limits established by legislation, ensues in those cases where the actual extent of damage exceeds its nominal extent.
The most common form of financial liability is limited liability, amounting to not more than one-third of the worker’s monthly pay. It can be assessed for damage, loss, or destruction of means of production; failure to collect the full amount of money due; or loss of documents. Compensation is ordered by the management with the written consent of the worker, whose pay is withheld accordingly. Where the worker does not consent, the question of compensation for the damage may be referred by the management to the people’s court of the district or city.
Limited financial liability may reach two-thirds of average monthly pay in cases where production and office workers cause negligent damage to raw materials, semifinished goods, or finished products. It may reach up to a full month’s pay in cases where technical and managerial personnel keep faulty records or incorrectly store raw materials, semifinished goods, or finished products. Officials who illegally discharge or transfer workers are liable for up to three months’ pay.
Full financial liability is imposed in the following cases: where the damage was caused by a worker’s actions in circumstances that might indicate criminal liability; when it is required under special laws and decrees, such as the Statute on the Management of Cash Transactions by Enterprises, Institutions, and Organizations of Jan. 15, 1949, or other disciplinary regulations; if a written contract providing for full financial liability has been concluded between the worker and the enterprise; or if the damage was caused other than during the performance of official duties.
Financial liability is imposed on the worker at fault if the damage occurred as a result of the worker’s failure to perform correctly his assigned duties and was a consequence of either the worker’s action or inaction. Only actual damage is subject to penalty.
Soviet law also provides that enterprises, institutions, and organizations bear financial liability for damage caused to the health of workers.