Update — Managing editor Chris Powell tells Romenesko readers: “Yes, the memo revises the policy so it comes into compliance with state law. Employee pay cannot be reduced on account of mistakes during the pay period in which the mistakes occurred. It’s an elaboration on a policy we’ve long had in our policy book, whereby employees who are placed on probation because of unsatisfactory performance may lose fringe benefits. …The policy is directed mainly at mistakes in headlines, story continuation lines, page folios, and page marriages committed by editors rather than factual errors in news copy — encouragement for people to be more conscientious when it counts.”
The latest memo:
Saturday, June 14, 2014
ALL NEWS STAFF:
News department staff members may be penalized financially for errors arising from negligence or misconduct that prove costly to the newspaper, like errors whose correction requires extra replating.
To comply with state law, such financial penalties will be assessed by reducing an employee’s rate of pay in a future work week, a work week not yet begun, so that an employee has the option of resigning his job rather than accepting a pay reduction in a week in which he has already undertaken work.
The earlier memo:
Thursday, March 13, 2014
ALL NEWS STAFF:
We’ve got to reduce the waste of press plates caused by news department errors that don’t get fixed in ordinary editing, as discarding a plate costs $15. So henceforth requests to the press department to change a plate to fix a news department mistake will have to go through the managing editor, or, in my absence, through the assistant managing editor for production, and a plate change required to fix mistakes for which there’s no good explanation may cost the responsible employee, whether editor or reporter, a payroll deduction for the cost of the plate. Let’s be more careful.