The employee who was well-versed in labor laws did not put up with his boss' unethical decision and saved his co-workers from being exploited.
Around 77% of employees believe they are exploited at their workplace at some point, according to Paychex. The owners attempt to make the employees work at an unfair rate or extra hours without proper pay. Though it may seem like a non-negotiable situation, the reality is that if individuals are aware of their rights, they can protect themselves from being taken advantage of at work. Reddit user u/bahodej managed to get one up on his employer because he was well-versed in labor laws. He was also able to protect the people working under him from undue exploitation through his knowledge and quick thinking.
The employee shared the whole experience on the platform to increase awareness amongst other employees. At the beginning of the post, u/bahodej explained his job and responsibilities. He was employed at a pawn shop. In the initial days, when he started working with the establishment, he was taken advantage of in various ways. The shop owner used to make him and other employees work over the assigned limit of 40 hours without any overtime pay, made them skip lunch breaks, and did not give them extra wages for their work on holidays. He noticed that because no one ever spoke up. Later, these unfair practices became the norm.
After working 6 years at the store, the owner promoted u/bahodej to the manager position. This time, the user did not want to repeat what happened the last time and prepared himself in every way possible. He read management books and also went through employee/employer rights. After joining, he decided to remove the store policies that hampered the employees for no reason. One of the policies he altered was for employees to leave the establishment for their half-hour lunch breaks. He provided the employees the liberty to take a break outside but stay nearby so they could be called when required.
After the owner noticed it, he asked the manager the reason behind the change in policy. u/bahodej answered he encouraged the breaks because the employees deserved it as they work hard. The owner retorted, "Maybe we should just shut down for half an hour a day and everyone gets an unpaid lunch break then." The Reddit user did not back down from such false threats and casually replied, "Ok, are you thinking 12:00 - 12:30 or till 1?" The conversation stopped then and there as the owner walked off.
u/bahodej was confident that there was no way the owner would agree to keep the shop closed for half an hour and miss potential customers. It was just a way to break the spirit of employees and discourage them from enjoying their rightful break. Another instance of the boss trying to fool his employees was when he asked them to work on staff holidays and wanted to pay them half of their salaries. The Reddit user immediately protested and showed the owner the correct rule that during holidays, the compensation follows the formula "an average day's pay + time and half for all hours worked." The owner, in the end, had to oblige with the correct payroll.
u/bahodej ended the post by sharing that he was going to leave the establishment soon as he had been offered a better opportunity. Ultimately, through his trials and tribulations in the company, he learned that it is always important to be aware and mindful of one's rights to prevent exploitation.