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Monday, September 8, 2014

Shafted employees

I have heard of this anecdotally, but more recently saw a credible documentary about the way many businesses are treating their employees.

This is Walmart, McDonalds, Starbucks, etc.

You are paid minimum wage or close to it.

Your work time must be less than 40 hours/wk to avoid benefits. (another example of liberals and the stasis fallacy)

So you will have to have another one of these jobs to make ends meet.

All this is bad enough, but it gets worse:

You are frequently not told that you are not working that day until you arrive.

In order to work those 35, or 28, or 23 hours a week you have to be "on call" and ready to go to work for up to 80 hours a week!!

I generally think business folks take too much heat for normal operations.

But they ought to take a hellish amount of heat for this kind of thing.


  1. Another good example of the stasis fallacy is J. C. Penny that completely restructured their work force to all (or nearly so) part time employees to avoid the ACA requirements.

    First, I do not disagree with anything in this post including “take a hellish amount of heat for this kind of thing”.

    I am curious, did the documentary also describe how employees at this level (minimum or near minimum wage) treat their employers? Having once owned and operated a restaurant here are a few food service related items.

    Employees often, without warning or notice, do not show up for a shift.
    Employees will self terminate and show up for their final check without notice. Sometime they do not even show up for their final check.
    A significant number of new employees (perhaps 25%) simply never show up for their first day of work.
    Employees will simply leave in the middle of a shift. Sometimes returning the next day as if nothing has happened.
    Giving raises and benefits has almost no impact on employee retention rates.
    Food service employers ALWAYS have a stack of job applications.
    Food service employees can almost always find another job immediately if they are terminated.

    Employees should take a hellish amount of heat for their actions as well.

    I think the conditions listed in this post are real, regrettable, and systemic in low income workforces. Both sides have very little to lose. If an employee leaves the employer has another applicant to take their place. If an employee is terminated replacing their (minimum) wage income is also quite easy.

    From an employer point of view I would not reenter the food service industry for the reasons I have listed, a choice I am free to make. Employees are free to make the same choice.

  2. More Wal-Mart cruelty http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/09/walmart-dress-code_n_5792224.html