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Need opinions on job/payroll question- long

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Dixie_darlins thread prompted me to ask your opinions on this issue.... This is very long, I just want you to know the entire story....

I've been employed at my job for 6 years now. It's a smaller retail chain. Well, we got new computers and a new payroll system last fall. Prior to that, I, along with a few other employees have witnessed the manager of the store AND the assistant managers, when they close out payroll, "mess" with the hours.

By that I mean, we close our doors at 9 most nights, some nights our hours are only untill 8pm, but we never leave at closing. Most often times, we have a few stragling customers that don't get checked out and out the door until 5 or 10 after, then we all have to sort our media and count our drawers, take out the garbage at the perspective counters, etc.... If the drawers don't balance, then it takes even longer.

Then in addition, one sales associate is required by company policy to remain with the closing manager until she is done and ready to leave. So on a typical night, being that I tend to stay and close on the days that I work night, we get out maybe 45 - 50 minutes after locking the doors.

Well, before the upgrade in computers and payroll, the manager would sit down and adjust everyone's hours to show they clocked out at 10 or 15 after instead.

In addition, she (store manager) gets called and questioned from corporate if there is ANY overtime on the payroll. So as a result it is pretty much common knowledge we aren't allowed overtime, except in special circumstances. There have been a few such times for me, I manage the cosmetic bay, and when we are in gift, we (cosmetic people) are supposedly allowed overtime. But my last gift in the fall, my paycheck was fubbed, and lost 2+ hours of overtime. There have been a few such other times, when I questioned her on it, and she was very nice and just told me she would add the missing hours onto the next paycheck. But in doing so, they were only paid to me as regular hours, not overtime hours.

Well, since the new system, I overheard her tell the assis. managers that there was no need to adjust the hours, b/c the computer will do it automatically and just flag anything they needed to check. Well, I received a phone call from a fellow employee on Sunday (my day off). She was very upset. With this new system, we have to sign for our paychecks, and it has the computer generated timecard on the same paper. It shows our punch in and out times. Well, when there is a "A" next to the punch, it means it was done manually at the back computer/or adjusted for some reason. Now sometimes, we forget to punch in or out from lunch or whatnot, so it isn't unreasonable to expect to see an "A" now and then. But my friend, felt her pay has been short the last few checks, looked back at all her punches, and saw EVERY single one of them when she had stayed and closed, was edited to have her out at 9pm, when she knows for a fact she was there until at least 9:30, and sometimes later when she was the one associate to stay with the closing manager.

Now, I'm going into work today, and I"m going to check mine too. I'm sure I'll see mine edited again as well. Now, I tell myself it isn't that severe, but imagine how long it's been going on?? I've also personally witness them adjust other daytime employees to have them out at 5 on the dot, even though they may have spent an extra 15 minutes emptying fitting rooms, or assisting customers.

Now the very simple thing would seem to be to bring it to the store managers attention that I know, and I don't feel it is right. Butttt, myself and my friends feel the same about this, whenever you question her on anything, there are reprocussions. She can make working there very difficult. I'd prefer to stay at that job, b/c it is very flexible with my hours, and my pay isn't too bad. So it isn't just a matter of finding a different job (lol as DH is pushing me to do). I know my work, I do a good job, and I honestly don't hate it. Other people have approached her on other issues, and then they will notice that the next few weeks, they receive less hours, or the silent treatment, either way, it makes the job uncomfortable.

DH tells me this is illegal, and I should talk to the wage and hour division. What do you think? From the research I have done on it, a work is not allowed to adjust an employees payroll in this manner.
post #2 of 18
Its illegal what they are doing. If there is a corporate office this should be brought up to their attention. There should also be a state agency that you can report this to-the name escaped me at the present.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
DH says to report to the Wage and Hour division, does that sound right? http://www.oregon.gov/BOLI/WHD/W_Links.shtml (for some reason the Ohio link isn't working right now for me)

I'm going to today, if I can discreetly, make copies of my computer generated punches, and my fellow employee said she looked further into the records kept in the same binder, and found a printout of our "actual" punches, before they were edited.

I'd like to get all the evidence so it can't disappear, or be tampered with, before I talk to anyone.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelicat View Post
DH says to report to the Wage and Hour division, does that sound right? http://www.oregon.gov/BOLI/WHD/W_Links.shtml (for some reason the Ohio link isn't working right now for me)

I'm going to today, if I can discreetly, make copies of my computer generated punches, and my fellow employee said she looked further into the records kept in the same binder, and found a printout of our "actual" punches, before they were edited.

I'd like to get all the evidence so it can't disappear, or be tampered with, before I talk to anyone.
That's the smart thing to do. Good luck!!!
post #5 of 18
Start keeping a record.

Record your hours yourself in a journal and also take a photocopy of your weekly time card to put with it.

Then see what your pay cheque says and if it jives with your own records. If it doesn't and they've manually adjust it down to show you leaving as soon as the doors close instead of 30 minutes later, let them know and show them (do not let them keep it) what you have kept track of.

If they refuse to rectify it, then contact the Labour Board for your state and file a complaint with them about it.
post #6 of 18
Your manager is probably getting some kind of bonus or kudos of some sort for keeping hours limited. It is unfair and illegal. I understand that you don't need the repercussions that may come with a confrontation. IMO, you should contact the Division of Labor & Worker Safety. If you do, ask if you can make an anomoyous complaint. http://www.com.ohio.gov/laws/
This poster http://www.com.state.oh.us/laws/pub/...Poster2008.pdf should be displayed in a prominent place. About half way down on the left you can see language regarding overtime. She is in direct violation.

BTW, if she tells you again that she will catch up on your next paycheck, remind her to multiply your leftover hours by 1.5.
post #7 of 18
Wow! That totally stinks!

Sounds to me like they're trying to keep their bonuses up and avoid overtime pay by adjusting your times.

I would definitely start asking for copies of your work schedule, made by this manager or the asst. manager. Then begin recording your time separately. Are you allowed to receive print outs on a daily basis?

If she gives you the silent treatment and reduces your hours because you questioned her I would really rethink keeping that job. That's form of employer abuse. I would get on the phone & call your corporate HR if you and your friends suffer reprocussions because of approaching her. Your friends need to call Corp. HR at well.

IMHO store managers should not have access to computer time changes. It sounds like a pain, but I'd rather see proof being brought to corporate HR. My experience is that there are too many store managers that abuse their HR privileges. HR needs to stay with HR.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockcat View Post
Your manager is probably getting some kind of bonus or kudos of some sort for keeping hours limited. It is unfair and illegal.

This is exactly what my DH said, as he used to manage a store. He said they receive bonuses when their hours are kept to a minimum.

Thanks for the advice everyone....
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
IMHO store managers should not have access to computer time changes. It sounds like a pain, but I'd rather see proof being brought to corporate HR. My experience is that there are too many store managers that abuse their HR privileges. HR needs to stay with HR.
You are totally right. I wish it was that way.

My only concern with contacting HR, is that our district manager, is my managers "buddy" so to speak.

It is so aggravating. For example, we have what is called a "Keyline" to anonymously report suspicious activity within the store. The whole point is that it is ANONYMOUS. Anyway, about a year ago there was a report from one of the associates at our store. I know for a fact, that our district manager allowed my store manager to listen to the recorded conversation that was called into corporate. And she was able to tell who it was as a result. She isn't supposed to have any access to that.

So, it's like who can you report to?? Anything that goes to coporate, will go to district before it goes to store level.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
If she gives you the silent treatment and reduces your hours because you questioned her I would really rethink keeping that job. That's form of employer abuse.
It took hearing this AND a really bad night there to make my mind up! I am still going to follow up on all the payroll issues. But DH is pushing me so much too, I'm just done with it all, going to start keeping my options open for a new venue in my life. I guess it just took everything to come to a head to make up my mind once and for all.
post #11 of 18
Oh my, that is bad. How long did she think she could get away with this? With that many people? I wonder how long it has been going on. How much have you lost in your take home pay I wonder? I am sorry the management is making you rethink a job that you sounded happy with until this issue. Which is a huge issue. That is just scandelous (spelling?) on so many levels!!!!!
post #12 of 18
Sounds to me as though the company is encouraging this (as in offering the bonus) and they are breaking laws left and right (who lets a manager listen to the recording of an "anonomyous" complaint?!?!). I would go right to the state authorities--possibly the state's attorney general's office. My gut says this is happening all over the place. They need to be fined.
post #13 of 18
Years ago in Connecticut, I trained an assistant manager for my same position at another store. About a year later I received a form in the mail to fill out from the Labor Board. It turns out that he was making more than me while I was training him because he was male. I had no idea.

Someone had reported the company anomomously. I still don't know who. The Labor Board investigated across the board.

Some time afterward I received my back pay!
post #14 of 18
That is pretty crazy Rockcat!
post #15 of 18
Jess-

Let me talk from an assistant's point of view. I am an assistant manager. Not in the same field. But an assistant none the less.

Assistant and store managers do get bonuses for keeping their "numbers" in line. Hours, cash or what ever it is. I have access to the payroll files. Do I do any of those things? Heck no! I may not be the smartest person out there. But I do believe that is against the law. The only time I change punch edits is when someone forgot to clock out, clock in, used the wrong employee number or what have you. Then it prints off a thing. Of which you the employee is suppose to sign. It doesn't matter where you work, you are suppose to sign that paper. I always have my employee's sign that paper. I explain what I did. I print a before and after copy. So they know what I did. They can keep it for their records if they so chose.

I can care less about a bonus. Don't get me wrong. I love my bonus but, if people are going to get screwed for me to get it. I am not okay with that. I make deals with the other managers all the time. If they help us get our numbers in line. No cheating or lying or abusing the system I will give them a portion of my bonus and take one out for ice cream. It is all about being honest. I can't abuse some one like that, and take time they worked just to get a bonus.
post #16 of 18
This very thing happened to me about 25 years ago. The employees took the employer to court and we all were awarded a lump sum of estimated back pay (which was a pretty good chunk of money.) It is illegal for an employer to adjust time cards to avoid paying overtime.
post #17 of 18
It's illegal. Document when you clock in and out and report it to Dept. of Labor or a union ASAP.
post #18 of 18
i think it would be better if you could get more than one person to prove hours are getting messed with, that person needs fired. I dont know who to talk to on something llike that but i darn sure would try to find out if there was anything to do and if they dont do anything to fix it i would definately find another one. that is so uncool.
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