Consumer Fraud

Holiday chaos brings long hours for retail workers

With the holidays bringing a time of togetherness and giving, it also brings a time of bargain shopping and the craziness of holiday sales. It’s a shopper’s dream, but a retail worker’s nightmare.  Black Friday begins the Christmas shopping rush and stores extend their hours to accommodate the last-minute shopper, right up until Christmas Eve.Many stores all over the country opened their doors at the wee hours of the morning for Black Friday, offering sales and “doorbuster” prices. Some stores opened as early, or late depending on which way you look at it, at 12:01 a.m. and stayed open throughout the day. For the shopper, the sales can’t be beat, and the additional hours of shopping accommodate any work schedule. But what about the workers who work these ridiculous hours?

When working in retail, it is expected that long hours will be logged during the holiday season. But how much is too much? And are employees getting fully compensated when working overtime?

Many times, especially during this time of year, retail workers are working long hours yet aren’t getting the pay they deserve. The people working as “managers” are required to perform what would normally be hourly-paid duties to cover shifts that cannot be filled, leaving them working overtime yet still being paid on salary.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects these “managers” who work overtime and are not being compensated. If a person is promoted to a “manager” position and is still working hours as early as 4 a.m. or as late as midnight, fair compensation must be enforced.

With Christmas music being played at every store and shoppers running amok, the holiday season is officially in full swing. The shoppers are more frantic and the store hours become longer with each passing day.  If working in retail, know that you have the right to be paid for the crazy hours that are being worked.  If you are labeled a “manager” but are still performing hourly-paid duties, you have the right to be compensated for the amount of time worked.  Do not be afraid to talk to your boss.  You have rights too.