This woman had had it with cheaters. So, when her former employers tried to get out of paying them for their overtime, she reported them to the authorities and ensured they got what they deserved!
OP (Original Poster) shared that she previously worked at an established and respected family’s art supply store. About a dozen employees had been working for them for decades.
She shared, “Employees were extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and valuable because they knew all the local artists.” Even so, OP noted that they weren’t paid enough.
Work Hours and Schedules
OP and the rest of her colleagues would sometimes work 48 hours a week. Then, when this happened, her employers would cut their hours to less than 32 hours the following week.
Apart from this, instead of paying them properly, she said their “sneaky employers” would average both weeks together. Because of this tactic, they never paid their employees their correct overtime pay!
Keep Things to Yourselves
OP soon discovered that even though they were treated unfairly, no one ever spoke up. She said, “The most shocking part to me was that, as far as I knew, no other employees had ever made a stink.”
It turns out that she and the others were “ordered to never discuss” their pay with other employees. She believed this protocol or rule “shielded their scammy method.”
Accepting Their Explanation—or Not!
The office manager “condescendingly” explained the averages to OP and sent her on her way. OP, in turn, smiled and thanked her for helping her understand everything.
However, little did the office manager know that OP was scheming something herself.
Reaching Out to Knowledgeable People
After their talk, OP anonymously called the US Department of Labor and inquired about her situation. She also intentionally “ratted out” the store’s name.
Contacting a Law Firm
OP also found a law firm advertising to help employees who are cheated out of OT pay. She came across the firm when searching for the Department of Labor online, so OP exclaimed, “Serendipity!”
After this, OP also told a colleague about what she had found out, and the two of them contacted as many current and former employees as they could track.
She said, “A few were mad, but most said they’d suspected something. All the while, we worked our jobs happily, same as always.”
Then, one day, an auditor from the government came to their workplace and returned two days in a row. On the second day, the store’s owner, who OP said was “too bougie and fancy to even darken the door,” showed up.
Then, after a while, the owner left “all sweaty with a frown.”
Making Them Pay!
To solve the issue, the government made the owners pay them “accumulated retro overtime with interest to every employee they’d ever done this to.”
They also had to put a notice in the paper. OP said, “I know it was humiliating for such country club snoots.”
Apart from that, the store’s owners had to pay a hefty fine, though OP does not know how much it was because she already left to go to grad school.
OP said, “I heard two long-time employees hired the lawyer and sued not only the store but the owner and that condescending office manager individually.”
Did You Learn Your Lesson?
OP said that the company could have easily avoided this issue “if, when she brought it to her attention, the office manager had said, ‘Oops,’ and paid her $192” that the company owed her in overtime.
Instead, they treated OP like a child and were required to pay around $50,000!
Don’t Be a Cheater!
For OP, employers should never try to exploit or cheat their employees.
She said, “Cheaters suck, especially rich ones who take advantage of their workers.”
The Community’s Reactions
Redditors noted that what happened to OP was “wage theft” and is probably one of the most common forms of theft in the United States.
One said, “Sadly, it’s so common because employers know exactly how much you make, and they know it’s not enough to afford a lawyer on your own.” Another wrote, “Wage theft is the most common form of theft in America.”
Some people also noted how unfair punishment goes in America.
This Redditor noted, “Yet when an employee steals money from the company, they are subject to criminal penalties. Employers, on the other hand, are subject only to fines and administrative penalties. This shows exactly where America’s values lie.” Another person shared, “Wage theft by the rich against the poor is a greater amount than all other forms of theft in America combined. This kind of theft deserves prison time. If I stole $50,000 from the business, I know they’d try to put me in prison.”
What would you do if you were in OP’s shoes? Do you agree with what Redditors are saying?
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This post first appeared as Her Scummy Employer Owed Her $192 After Cheating Her Out of Her OT Pay. So, as Payback, She Reported the Company and Got Him to Shell Out More Than $50,000! on Quote Ambition.