Sunday, April 04, 2004

The Hours

Good piece in the NY Times (free registration required to read the article) today about companies that delete hours from their workers electronic time records, thus denying them pay illegally. The managers are under pressure from district managers to do this to improve profitability. Besides altering pay records, they also "move" hours worked one week to another so that overtime is not required. This is also illegal. I have had jobs where we were required to "move" our hours by management, and I wasn't even working a minimum wage job where I was terrified of losing my job, like many of the workers in the story. Why do the companies (like Wal-Mart, Family Dollar, Toys-R-Us, and Pep Boys) do it? That's obvious, but the reason some think managers do it is this:
"A lot of this is that district managers might fire you as soon as look at you," said William Rutzick, a lawyer who reached a $1.5 million settlement with Taco Bell last year after a jury found the chain's managers guilty of erasing time and requiring off-the-clock work. "The store managers have a toehold in the lower middle class. They're being paid $20,000, $30,000. They're in management. They get medical. They have no job security at all, and they want to keep their toehold in the lower middle class, and they'll often do whatever is necessary to do it."
Worthwhile person says that this is one problem that McDonald's does NOT have, they keep track of hours well apparently.


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