punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Something I have always wondered

When I used to work for Cargo Furniture, I worked 6 days a week. Mandatory. I didn't know this when I took the job, but two weeks into my triaining, I was told that company policy was 6 days/48 hours a week. That seemed highly unreasonable, but when the manager told me "in this comapy, we round by 3" (instead of round by 5, like everyone else), I assumed she was cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

Sadly, when she was demoted after I was there for a month, I was told, yeah, 6 days and 48 hours ir right, but "you rounded by what??" Since I had been unemployed for almost 2 years before, I didn't feel safe wondering aloud if those hours were even legal.

There was always talk about this rule. The first thing I was told was that the Tandycraft Company that owned Cargo was a 90 year old, "good ol boy" corporation out of Forth Worth, Texas. They worked the same hours since 1909 or something. It was explained thusly:

- Some states said salaried workers were based on a 40 hour week, but had issues with only one day off, so you were, on paper, hourly. They said that hourly was figured at an hourly rate, so it was (40 x $$$) + (8 x 1.5 x $$$) = your "salary"
- But you were never allowed to claim overtime. So we filled out time cards with sign in and sign out times, but it was all fictional.

Now, keep in mind, we were only allowed to have a staff of three: a manager, and assistant, and one 10hr/wk part timer. So when your assistant was gone, you had to pull an 80 hour week, essentially, depending on your mall hours.

The second rule was "never talk about the hours outside of work." There was under-the-breath mumbling about the legality of it all, but those who said they'd take the company to court were fired. And since no one ever seemed to successfully sue them, and they had a lot of disgrunted ex-employees, I have wondered:

Was this legal? Can a company do this without any ramification?

Cargo, in any case, is out of business, along with Tandycrafts. But I have always wondered...

Tags: cargo, fnord, work
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