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People Describe The Most Corrupt Thing They’ve Ever Seen Their Employer Do

Workplaces can be a bit rough around the edges and, especially if you’re new to the workforce, it can sometimes be hard to determine if everything that’s going on is above board.

Sometimes, though, employers do things that are so obviously corrupt it can be hard to believe they get away with it.

Redditor Chillay_ asked:

“What’s the most corrupt thing you’ve witnessed your employer do?”

No Overtime, Even If You Work Over Time

“Worked in a restaurant that didn’t allow employees to work over 40 hours as they did not want to pay any overtime. Instead of you wanted to work extra or if they asked you to work extra they would delete hours off of your time card to keep it under 40. They always asked you when they did that in a kind of hush hushed way so it wasn’t exactly without permission but I think it was bullshit all the same.” -cloudstrife1191

“Permission or not they’re breaking the law. It’s not suddenly legal because you agreed to it” -Hugebluestr*pon

“My class action lawsuit alarm bells are going off right now. If your employer does this, I would recommend filing a complaint with the US Department of Labor and also contacting an attorney who deals with wage/hour violations who can review the case. These are serious violations that should be stopped.” -UKnowDaxoAndDancer

You Just Can’t Cancel

“Had a job out of college selling yellow pages advertising. A big part of the job was just renewing the old ads in the book and we had to call each business to have them renew their ad. But as the yellow pages book became more and more obsolete more customers would cancel their ads. So the company changed the policy of having us call each business and instead put in a policy that any customer who didn’t specifically call to cancel would be auto renewed.”

“Then they would purposefully send out the renewal notices late enough that the customers couldn’t cancel in time to avoid the following years charges. If one of us did actually get a call from a customer looking to cancel and with time to legitimately do so and we actually cancelled them….fired.” -totspur1982

“Literally Fraud. A lawyer could tear this yellowpage company to pieces.” -Redditor

“And I believe a lawyer did for this and a multitude of other reasons. We also go charge backs on our check for cancellations, even if it wasn’t your original account. A few employees filed a class action lawsuit against the company and won. I got a nice check out of that.” -totspur1982

“I worked for a company like that, the “Customer Service Reps” (people who would field the customer calls asking for returns) were graded and given bonuses for how many sales they ‘saved.’ ‘Saved’ meaning how many people who called to return our products they tricked into holding on to it past the full refund window.” -HamsterIV

Check Your Pay Stubs!

“Growing up my father always told me to save my pay stubs and time receipts. I ended up working a job in my early 20 ‘s at an airport moving cars. I get my paycheck one day and i realize that it’s not right. So i do a little digging, and a lot of math, and i figure out that the company was taking hours from me.”

“I ask around and it turns out that they were taking hours from literally everyone at the job site. After doing more math we figured out that over the six months we all worked together, the company had stolen a combined 400 hours from eight people.” -42spuuns

“Wage theft is more money than all other forms of theft.”

“Robbery, fraud, burglary, etc – none of it accounts for more value/dollars than companies stealing money from their employees through under or non payment of wages.” -inthrees

“Would you like to know why?”

“It’s because if you steal from your boss, you go to prison. If your boss steals from you, it usually doesn’t get reported. If it does get reported there’s no jail time, but you have the option to sue. Suing takes years and the judgment doesn’t usually amount to all that was stolen, and your lawyer takes their cut out of the judgment. The ruling class made theft profitable when they do it, and unprofitable when we do it, and that is why they’re the country’s biggest thieves.” -reverendsteveii

“Also suing an employer will black list you from an industry so f*cking fast. ETA: and whether or not it was fully justified doesn’t matter.” -Kai_Emery

Tip Theft Is Rampant

“I was working at a small brewery / bar, and caught the owner dipping into the tip jar at the end of big nights.”

“It was a new place that just opened and was kind of struggling during the off season. We literally had a staff of two bartenders and the owners (husband and wife), so the bar staff would pool and split that days tips.”

“Come to find out that he was taking a cut of the tips because “he worked there too”. When I confronted him, I explained that its actually a violation of the FLSA. In fact it’s even an exact example listed as illegal things to do with tips. He argued that it was his right as owner and fired me, so I reported him to Dept. of Labor.” -Rustee_nail

“My girlfriend used to work at a deli where the owner was taking half the tips. She’s never worked food, so she suspected it was wrong, but didn’t know for sure. She asked me like “hey is this normal?” as I was a chef for a couple years, and I explained how taking tips as the owner is probably the most frowned upon thing you can do in the food service industry.” -Mirraco323

Why Bother With A Warranty?

“I was a mechanic that found out that the company was not letting me fix customers cars that had oil leaks when the customers had paid for a 200k mile warranty. The manager would tell the service writer to say that the warranty company declined it and eventually started making me take a photo to him so that he could tell me that the leak wasn’t bad enough to fix.”

“The customer paid for a warranty and the company wasn’t holding up their end of the deal because it was costing them money. They are one of the most profitable car dealerships in my town and now have 3 dealerships and are expanding.” -Idontgetitbrah

So Many Kinds Of Tip Theft

“When I used to housekeep at a hotel, our head housekeeper would go into all of our checkouts and steal our tips before we could get to them. I remember a few times seeing tips in my rooms and foolishly not thinking to pick them up before they disappeared. A few of my other coworkers witnessed similar instances.”

“At one point, a guest came up to me and said she’d leave a big tip in her room for me bc it was a mess. I found out later that the head housekeeper cleaned the room herself.”

“She walked out like a year later bc our GM demoted her to regular housekeeper bc everyone had complaints about her. She was a very awful person in general.” -Redditor

“When I was a housekeeper you’d get your room list at the beginning of the shift, so if we couldn’t finish that day the girls would go in all their rooms and take the tips, that way if they were off the next day or the room was someone else’s, they’d get nothing. The head housekeeper though worked salary so wasn’t allowed to keep tips even if they were handed to her.” -Tinycatgirl

“When She Felt We Deserved Them”

“A few years ago I was working/living at a McDonald’s in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The area manager decided to “save” the store so she became very… involved… in its day to day micromanagement. One payday morning she made an announcement that, because everyone kept coming in asking for their checks and bothering her, she would be giving them to us when she felt we deserved them.”

“I called the local Department of Labor, who referred me to the state, who referred me back to local, who then told me they just didn’t care and weren’t looking into it. It eventually resolved itself anyway when she handed checks out the next day.” -twistedlemon732

“See there’s your mistake. You should’ve called McDonalds corporate threatening to call the DoL. Much more effective!” -zvug

“Actually, just call McDonalds corporate. Don’t even need to threaten to call. McDonalds doesn’t screw around when it comes to paying workers anymore. That kind of stuff has led to several million in lawsuit settlements in just the past ten years.” -betterthanamaster

We’ve Known Asbestos Was Dangerous For Decades

“I work underground in the mines. One place started having, what the workers found out later, was asbestos type rock in the ore. The company took samples of it and then said it’s kind of like asbestos, but it’s not old enough to harm you. Later after a bit of more concern from the workers, it was found out that the sample they took came back as inconclusive due to something else. They lied and allowed their workforce exposure to asbestos. I quit after that and found work elsewhere.” -Chillay_90

That’s Not How Overtime Works

“One time when I was a chef in college, I worked 14 days straight, with half of those days being 12 hour days. This all fell in one pay period too. It was rough but it was summer and I was gushing over the amount over overtime I was about to get. It came out to like over 70 hours overtime. I was supposed get almost an additional $1000 dollars on my paycheck. I calculated the math with tax and everything and couldn’t wait to pick up my paycheck the next week for that pay period.”

“I pick it up, and the paycheck is quite larger than I’m used to given I normally only worked 25 hours a week, but there is ZERO overtime on it. It was short almost a a thousand bucks. I got to the HR office the next day (it was located at a different casino) and ask, and they go ‘yeah so in Nevada, you only qualify for overtime if you average 40 hours a week normally.'”

“That sounded like bullshit to me, but I asked my mom who used to run finances for our family business, and she says that IS in fact 100% bullshit. She pulled up the statute online and it clearly said if you exceed 8 hours in a day, you get overtime. It said nothing about a weekly average.”

“So printed that bitch out and drove right back down to the HR office, and showed it to them. The lady at the desk who just told me that lie calls out the head of HR. She would frequent the different locations to check in with people and was always nice, but you could always tell she was shady as fuck. They both seem to get very nervous and in a stuttering voice ‘okay we will reevaluate'”

“I never heard anything or got any apology, but when the next paycheck came, the exact amount of overtime I calculated was put on that paycheck down to the penny.”

“I tell some of the other guys in the kitchen what happened, and apparently the family who owned the casino our restaurant was located in was known for pulling shit like this. Making ‘accounting errors’ knowing a lot of people who do direct deposit don’t even look at their paystubs. Funny how these accounting ‘errors’ always ended up in saving the company money, and never gave the employee extra cash lol. A server no more than a few months later had the same exact shit happen to him. Rat b*stards.” -Mirraco323

Gaming The System

“At the first company I worked at the general manager had all his personal expenses paid by the company. His wife also had a company credit card and was paid a salary but she didn’t work. The company paid for things like their groceries, house mortgage, car payments and family vacations. The kicker is he wasn’t the owner of the company.”

“He had a creative accountant that hid these expenses but the owners became suspicious and they hired an auditor. It took them about 4 years to figure it out. He was fired and his family fled the country so I am not sure what happened to him.” -optoph

If your employer is doing something that seems shady, there’s a way for you to report it if it’s safe for you to do so.

You’re probably not the only one who is affected, and people doing shady things don’t usually stop unless they’re made to.

Written by Winn Sioux Christnot-Peters

Winn Sioux Christnot-Peters is a writer/web designer and aspiring librarian based in Northern Maine. When not writing or in class, they devote much of their time to multiple non-profit organizations, largely focusing on LGBTQ+ rights and animal welfare. During rare moments of free time Winona enjoys video and tabletop games, as well as various nerdy fiber crafts such as crocheting (mainly amigurumi Pokémon, cat toys, and blankets) and counted cross stitch.