Customer signed the contract and initialed the line items where indicated. After customer left employee realized contract didn’t print and hit print again; when printed the initialed items did not show any initials. Employee initialed the line items with customer initials. What are the ramifications to this action?
What are the ramifications to this action?
From your description I gather that the contract was signed & initialed using some sort of signature pad. You don't mention that the signature disappeared. It is unclear, though, whether the initialed items can be clearly proved to be part of the same contract that contains customer's signature.
If also the customer's signature were missing, the employee's act of producing the customer's initials suggests that the employee/company would be unable to prove the customer's consent to the contract. That puts the employee and the company in a legally vulnerable position.
On the other hand, if the signature reasonably evidences that the customer factually consented to the clauses requiring initials, the employee's initialing "on behalf" of the customer might be inconsequential.
Generally speaking, it is quite inappropriate for a party to unilaterally produce a counterparty's mark(s) for the purpose of evidencing the formation of a contract or transaction (by "unilaterally" I mean the act of doing so without the counterparty's provable consent). That could lead to charges such as forgery or identity theft unless the customer cooperates by acknowledging the re-printed contract that someone else initialed on his behalf.
In the event of a glitch or technology mishap, it is in the employee's/company's best interest to ask for customer's cooperation toward reflecting the formation of the contract. An employee's unilateral initiative in this regard is not worth the risks of prosecution, lawsuits, and loss of business & trust.