When Your Boss Steals Your Wages: The Invisible Epidemic That’s Sweeping America‏

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posted on May, 2 2013 @ 01:50 AM
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Imagine you’ve just landed a job with a big-time retailer. Your task is to load and unload boxes from trucks and containers. It’s back-breaking work.

You toil 12 to 16 hours a day, often without a lunch break. Sweat drenches your clothes in the 90-degree heat, but you keep going: your kids need their dinner. One day, your supervisor tells you that instead of being paid an hourly wage, you will now get paid for the number of containers you load or unload. This will be great for you, your supervisor says: More money!

But you open your next paycheck to find it shrunken to the point that you are no longer even making minimum wage. You complain to your supervisor, who promptly sends you home without pay for the day. If you pipe up again, you’ll be looking for another job.



How big is the problem? Americans like to think that a fair day’s work brings a fair day’s pay. Cheating workers of their wages may seem like a problem of 19th-century sweatshops. But it’s back and taking a terrible toll.

We’re talking billions of dollars in wages; millions of workers affected each year. A gigantic heist is being perpetrated against working people: they’re getting screwed on overtime, denied their tips, shortchanged on benefits, defrauded on payroll, and handed paychecks that bounce like rubber balls. A conservative estimate of unpaid overtime alone shows that it costs workers at least $19 billion per year.


So do you think you are being paid properly? It's disgusting that they can do this to people on a daily basis. I didn't even know this stuff existed until I read read this article.
edit on Thu May 2 2013 by DontTreadOnMe because: Starting a New Thread?...Look Here FirstAboveTopSecret.com takes pride in making every post count. Please do not create minimal posts to start your new thread.If you feel inclined to make the board aware of news, current events, or important information from other sitesplease post one or two paragraphs, a link to the entire story, AND your opinion, twist or take on the news item, as a means to inspire discussion or collaborative research on your subject.




posted on May, 2 2013 @ 02:07 AM
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Originally posted by sarahlm

Imagine you’ve just landed a job with a big-time retailer. Your task is to load and unload boxes from trucks and containers. It’s back-breaking work.

You toil 12 to 16 hours a day, often without a lunch break. Sweat drenches your clothes in the 90-degree heat, but you keep going: your kids need their dinner. One day, your supervisor tells you that instead of being paid an hourly wage, you will now get paid for the number of containers you load or unload. This will be great for you, your supervisor says: More money!

But you open your next paycheck to find it shrunken to the point that you are no longer even making minimum wage. You complain to your supervisor, who promptly sends you home without pay for the day. If you pipe up again, you’ll be looking for another job.



How big is the problem? Americans like to think that a fair day’s work brings a fair day’s pay. Cheating workers of their wages may seem like a problem of 19th-century sweatshops. But it’s back and taking a terrible toll.

We’re talking billions of dollars in wages; millions of workers affected each year. A gigantic heist is being perpetrated against working people: they’re getting screwed on overtime, denied their tips, shortchanged on benefits, defrauded on payroll, and handed paychecks that bounce like rubber balls. A conservative estimate of unpaid overtime alone shows that it costs workers at least $19 billion per year.


So do you think you are being paid properly? It's disgusting that they can do this to people on a daily basis. I didn't even know this stuff existed until I read read this article.


Most people I know that get paid by a flat rate usually bill at over 50 hours for a 40 hour week. From my point of view, if you cannot do the job assigned faster than budgeted for you do not know the craft you are trading.
I would prefer to get paid a flat rate for the work I do.

No one competent suffers from this.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 02:13 AM
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reply to post by sarahlm
 

It would have been nice if you had provided the source of your external quotes. They don't really explain how my wages are being stolen. They just say they are.

What is my employer taking from me, exactly? All the deductions are pretty well laid out on my pay stub. I know what I should get. I know what the government takes. What is it that my employer gets...exactly?


edit on 5/2/2013 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 02:18 AM
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The fact you mention truck unloading makes it a super sore spot in terms of how this is done in the world of freight. I cannot count the number of times I paid anywhere from $80 for a couple pallets to as much as $300 for a frozen load ...JUST for the "kind generosity" of the customer who ordered the freight my truck brought to get it OFF my truck and into their warehouse.

Once upon a time, a driver could pick up guys out front and drive in to have them unload. Those guys actually GOT the $100-$150 that it was back then. Then...they moved inside the fence as contractors. I imagine the pay dropped starting about that time for them. Oh, then even places like Walmart decided it was cool to charge the truck to unload what THEY ordered ..and I KNOW their people weren't getting diddly squat compared to the money being paid 100% and solely for the service of unloading.

BTW... That $80-$300 paid for what might be 15 minutes or it might be a few hours....and figure that one for what the guys doing the work should have seen in their own pockets. Heck, once upon a time, they DID. Now? You're right. They get pennies on dollars while the truckers get shafted ..or the companies do, and just add it to the freight bill ...which works back to the receiver eventually, right into the price on your store shelf.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 02:36 AM
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reply to post by sarahlm
 


I was always paid properly!
I was a plumber though, one of the folks you really don't want to anger.
We truly have the power to make it rain feces!
Water damage is a terrible thing, dirty water contamination is an atrocity!

If you are screwed out of your pay, seek legal avenues and don't work for a flake.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 02:49 AM
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You're right on the money, OP. Too tired to post any relevant links, but yes its part of the attack on workers. All handed out in various ways. Should be obvious by now.


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posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:28 AM
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Maybe you have a decent job phage.
Countless other people are getting screwed by being hired part time instead of full time. they merely hire twice the staff they need and screw the workers for their full time benefits.
Sometimes i wonder for all your knowledgeable pronouncements if your head is really screwed on straight.
The gains that the unions have won over the decades have all mostly been clawed back in innovative ways by the greedy companies.


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posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:35 AM
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I'm a teacher, and we have been told for years that we should just be "thankful you have a job." All while being furloughed and being asked to do more and more for less pay. Most teachers now work late into the evening and on weekends just to keep up.

So yes, it is definitely happening in all types of jobs now.

But hey-- if we don't like it, we are reminded of the lines of people who are waiting for our jobs. Awesome for morale.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:37 AM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
The fact you mention truck unloading makes it a super sore spot in terms of how this is done in the world of freight. I cannot count the number of times I paid anywhere from $80 for a couple pallets to as much as $300 for a frozen load ...JUST for the "kind generosity" of the customer who ordered the freight my truck brought to get it OFF my truck and into their warehouse.

Once upon a time, a driver could pick up guys out front and drive in to have them unload. Those guys actually GOT the $100-$150 that it was back then. Then...they moved inside the fence as contractors. I imagine the pay dropped starting about that time for them. Oh, then even places like Walmart decided it was cool to charge the truck to unload what THEY ordered ..and I KNOW their people weren't getting diddly squat compared to the money being paid 100% and solely for the service of unloading.

BTW... That $80-$300 paid for what might be 15 minutes or it might be a few hours....and figure that one for what the guys doing the work should have seen in their own pockets. Heck, once upon a time, they DID. Now? You're right. They get pennies on dollars while the truckers get shafted ..or the companies do, and just add it to the freight bill ...which works back to the receiver eventually, right into the price on your store shelf.

Yeah, my buddy is a lumper- His company charges up to $300 to unload (using 2 Lumpers) and pays the lumpers $10/hour.
ADD- Something I saw in kentucky (and never since) was that there would be 2 Mcdonalds (or Pizza Huts or whatever) in a City- They would work someone 39 hours at one and have them punch out and go to the other- Work 10 hours (for example) at the second location. Then they would be paid by 2 checks, one for 39 hours and one for 10 hours- No overtime.

This was not voluntary or optional and was rampant. Since moving to Michigan I see the opposite- NOW what the fast Food places are doing (here anyhow) is keeping everyone hours at 26/week but doing it in such a shady way that the entire week is ruined- For example, scheduling someone to Open and work for 2 hours then go home. Punch back in during the lunch rush and go home. Punch in during the dinner rush and then go home. Literally scheduling to make someone work 2 tiny shifts in a day spread out over a ton of hours.

-And since there isnt anything here- People are doing it and fighting for the chance.
edit on 2-5-2013 by DarKPenguiN because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:42 AM
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reply to post by ItsEvolutionBaby
 



You're right on the money, OP. Too tired to post any relevant links, but yes its part of the attack on workers. All handed out in various ways. Should be obvious by now.


So improving productivity is an attack on workers???


Wait until the Obamacare taxes hit businesses this year! You may be begging for that job you complain about today.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:46 AM
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reply to post by DarKPenguiN
 



Yeah, my buddy is a lumper- His company charges up to $300 to unload (using 2 Lumpers) and pays the lumpers $10/hour.


So what??

If you think the company is ripping you off because it's making money with your labor then start your own business, with your money on the line, then hire some lumpers. I bet you’ll be paying them $10/hour, too!


I wish people would stop acting like victims. Be grateful you have a job because many today do not.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:49 AM
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reply to post by sarahlm
 



Two comments:

1. When I was younger I worked for an outsourcer doing AOL tech support. If my quality was high enough I would get paid by the call, $1.25. Plus there were sales incentives. I averaged about $16 an hour. It worked out great for me.

2. I currently oversee payroll for tipped employees. They make between $3-$5 an hour, depending on what they are doing. If a pay period passes in which they have not made enough to equal what minimum wage would have paid them, we pay them a federally required "minimum wage makeup" wage. This guarantees that they are never below the earnings requirement of the minimum wage act.

That isn't to say minimum wage is a fair wage by any stretch. Typically we only do this when managers have scheduled and manged poorly, or when employees do not perform well enough to earn tips. They chose a tipped position....the onus is on them to make it work for them.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:52 AM
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How do managers steal
here is how

I am going through this as we speak
last employer /Manager deducted payroll taxes and did not remit them to the government
took 3 months to get unemployment while the government figured it out
now my tax return will take ages too, while the government figures it out

current manager lied about starting wage
he has a deal where he gets a percentage of what he saves
sitting at home while the owner figure it out

ooops i almost forgot



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:53 AM
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reply to post by DarKPenguiN
 

That is infuriating as a former driver. We'd HAPPILY pay that directly to the lumpers if they'd put some spring in their step and move their butts about unloading things. Many times, I could have done it faster and I did, where it was "allowed". Now under law, they could not force a driver to use their unload "service". However, try doing it yourself at a Ralphs or Safeway or Walmart! Ha! The lumper may take a couple hours to do what should be 1 ...but whoa.. A driver will suddenly have problems on every single pallet, or every tie stacked will be found to have issues....always after the unloading is almost done...to do significant re-stacking and rehandling of the whole thing.

I learned very early on that paying and shutting up was a whole lot easier for waiting those 2-3 hours than having them insure it would take me 6-8 hours, no matter how well I did it.

Now, I absolutely know the lumpers are not lazy in the vast majority of cases ..but they also see the amounts being paid and know what's happening of course. It's impossible not to. I think the places gave up entirely, right from the start, with the idea of drivers playing along to be quiet on that or be subtle about amounts paid. Heck, a driver would just make a point of saying it LOUDER if asked not to.
I can't much blame them if they know we're paying $300 for two men across 2 hours ($75 an hour) and they get a whopping $10 an hour out of that.

..and for folks totally unfamiliar with this, please keep in mind ..this isn't some billing done between companies. The driver has to get a check produced or cash..either works..on the spot at the point of unloading at the dock OR ..it won't BE unloaded...or perhaps worse, will be unloaded but signed paperwork showing that fact won't be released.
It's one of the most obscene scams going for screwing both the drivers and the poor guys who really do bust their butts and get hurt often enough, doing this very hard work.

* I at least used my reefer whenever I could to lower the temp back there for them. If it was dry freight in the summer or California, for instance, it was no issue to me to turn it on and set it at 65 degrees while they were unloading ..or the reverse during the winter. I know I got some loads taken off just a wee bit faster because I made life comfortable for them, when the temperature inside a trailer can easily break triple digits or be bitterly freezing .....without temp. sensitive product ever being a part of it.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:53 AM
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reply to post by sarahlm
 


I understand that the article is about Wal-Mart, but in other sectors, piece rate work brings in better pay than a hourly wage.

I’d like to observe this place and see how lazy or not the workers really are.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:56 AM
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reply to post by Danbones
 



I am going through this as we speak
last employer /Manager deducted payroll taxes and did not remit them to the government took 3 months to get unemployment while the government figured it out now my tax return will take ages too, while the government figures it out

Your employer wasn’t defrauding you; he/she was defrauding the government. You would have had those deductions regardless.



current manager lied about starting wage
he has a deal where he gets a percentage of what he saves
sitting at home while the owner figure it out.

Unless you have an employment contract he/she is only required to pay you minimum wage. If you don’t have it in writing that’s your fault.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by g146541
reply to post by sarahlm
 


I was always paid properly!
I was a plumber though, one of the folks you really don't want to anger.
We truly have the power to make it rain feces!
Water damage is a terrible thing, dirty water contamination is an atrocity!

If you are screwed out of your pay, seek legal avenues and don't work for a flake.


payday is on friday and S*** flows down hill



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 09:03 AM
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reply to post by seabag
 

It seems to be the day for disagreeing with friends...


In the case of lumpers and the scams of unloading trucks, this really is a situation you have to be there to fully grasp for how wrong it is and how abusive the system has become.

It absolutely was not always that way ...and for decades, literally, decades, it WAS paid to the man actually moving the boxes himself. It wasn't until the companies ordering the product figured out that absolutely nothing stopped them from reforming the system to TAKE that money for themselves, make the lumpers in house employees for pennies on those dollars and profit off the receiving of their OWN ordered product that a system with some issues became something one step shy of criminally exploitative, IMO.

*By way of example, just how screwed this is... My company, in at least two examples I worked for over my career, would happily pay ME the full equivalent money if I wanted to play the games they always threw at the driver for demanding to unload it themselves. It really was that plain and that open about how it wasn't a "required" fee ...and it was given ONLY for unloading. Just taken out of the hands of the workers, in front of them, while they got back a pittance of it.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 09:04 AM
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Originally posted by GeorgiaGirl
I'm a teacher, and we have been told for years that we should just be "thankful you have a job." All while being furloughed and being asked to do more and more for less pay. Most teachers now work late into the evening and on weekends just to keep up.

So yes, it is definitely happening in all types of jobs now.

But hey-- if we don't like it, we are reminded of the lines of people who are waiting for our jobs. Awesome for morale.


i was a network computer tech, making good money back in the early to mid nineties, then the company decided to cut pay and benefits for all of us by making us "contract workers" in "at will work" states....i could go into the litany of abuses by my employer, but this problem is so widespread, i don't need to, there is ample documented evidence. there is a direct correlation between escalating wealth creation for the top 10%, and an erosion of wealth for the bottom 90%. it cuts across all lines of job descriptions. i hate to use the word facist, but used in the Italian definition, America has certainly moved into that horrendous relationship of corporate and government marriage to the detriment of it's work force.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 09:05 AM
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Originally posted by seabag
reply to post by DarKPenguiN
 



Yeah, my buddy is a lumper- His company charges up to $300 to unload (using 2 Lumpers) and pays the lumpers $10/hour.


So what??

If you think the company is ripping you off because it's making money with your labor then start your own business, with your money on the line, then hire some lumpers. I bet you’ll be paying them $10/hour, too!


I wish people would stop acting like victims. Be grateful you have a job because many today do not.

Now wait- You are making a ton of assumptions here.

First off- My buddy is damn luck to be getting $10/hour since the economy is so horrible right now (especially in my area)

Second- No. I wouldn't do that someone. The only reason they are getting away with this (and making record profits) is due to the crippled economy. It taking advantage of folks and in turn is destroying the nation. The economy will get worse when short term profits for a few trumps the need for a middle class to have a decent lifestyle and buy product.

-In this area in the 1990s there was so much manufacturing that $10.00 was an average starting wage pretty much everywhere. Now its a service economy (this hit us harder than most areas since we were so Industry dependent) and croney capitalism is making this a business mans paradise.

I would be like my Sisters Company- They have not cut wages (like many other places here- garbage men had their wages and benefits cut while work load expanded) and the company is still profitable- Sure, they could make far more profit- But sometimes being so self serving is self destructive.

-But the economy is a very complex issue. Without Nafta we would still be in good shape and out labor worth a more realistic value. labor (like everything) is a commodity whose value changes based on many factors. I feel, however , that this is being purposefulness done for a variety of reasons and that capitalism has become so topheavy that things are skewed and probably unfixable.

-But I understand the reasons. And for the most part even agree with you.





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