People Reveal The Illegal Policies Their Company Always Gets Away With
The employee handbook you get when you start a new job is basically the company’s “Bible.” Typically, employees assume that its contents are fully foolproof; however, upon closer examination, it’s sometimes found that a lot of things in it aren’t necessarily ethical or even legal. Despite that fact, most people still put up with crazy things at work in order to keep their jobs.
Would you stay with a company that didn’t allow its workers to go “number two” in the company’s main restroom? What about a company that threatened to fire its workers for calling 911 during an emergency?
That’s only scratching the surface of what hardworking people deal with in the workplace. Real employees have shared their stories about the illegal policies their companies actually get away with. Read on for some shocking tales.
#35 This Lawyer Prefers To Keep Her Private Life Private
I worked at a law firm. Attorneys were salaried and the support staff members were paid hourly. They required ALL employees to clock out anytime they went to the restroom. The attorneys didn’t care because they were salaried, and the support staff didn’t object because they didn’t want to risk losing their jobs.
One time, there was this new hire who started complaining about the restroom rule. The company didn’t mention the policy to her during the interview process and she only found out about it at orientation. She literally thought they were joking. After her first few weeks at the company, HR approached her because they noticed she wasn’t clocking out during her restroom breaks. She tried to explain very calmly that 1) it was illegal to enforce such a rule and 2) the rule shouldn’t apply to her anyway because she’s salaried.
Despite her arguments, they kept insisting that she still had to clock out any time she went to the bathroom. All of a sudden, she bellowed: “You don’t need to know how long my “number twos” take.”
They didn’t bother her again.
#34 She Knows Her Worth And Won’t Settle For Less
One of the new hires at work told me that he was getting paid more than I was. I was pretty upset to hear that, so I approached my manager to discuss the matter. He told me that it was against company policy to discuss our wages, but I told him that the policy itself was illegal. He just stared at me like I wasn’t supposed to know that.
#33 But Haven’t They Heard Of Freedom Of Speech?
At my work, we’re prohibited from participating in any type of political gathering or protest. We’re also prohibited from using personal money to donate to charity.
#32 This Sounds Like A Lawsuit Just Waiting To Happen
We were told by upper management to continue working in our lab even though the water was off in the building. The lab manager just told us to look busy and do paperwork so that we would not get hurt, but the department chair kept insisting that it was fine to perform our regular duties without washing our hands or having access to the safety shower. To make matters worse, none of the bathrooms were available.
#31 Time To File A Wage Claim
At my last workplace, we’d fill out time sheets up to four weeks in advance and were told to put down eight hours for each day. If we worked more than that (which happened frequently) we wouldn’t get paid for the extra hours because the eight hours we put down in our time sheets were definitive. Anybody who refused to fill their time sheets out ahead of time usually got let go.
#30 No Employee Should Be At Risk Of Losing Their Job For Calling 911
At the bar where I work, the bartenders are not allowed to call 911. Each call counts as half a point against our liquor licenses. If we need officer assistance, we have to call the non-emergency line. I’ve heard of real emergencies that have happened at my work and bartenders getting fired for calling 911.
#29 Not Being Allowed A Bathroom Break Is Definitely Illegal
If I leave my job before working there for a year, the company will deduct $500 from my final paycheck for “training”. But as far as I know, we don’t actually do any training the company would have to pay for.
Also, this is technically not a company policy but we also don’t get bathroom breaks.
#28 So If I Trip At Work I Would Have To Pay?
If you get injured at my work while on the clock you must see the in-house medical staff and have a drug test done before leaving, but they charge you $500 for the mandatory service. I’m pretty sure that’s not legal and I know several other employees who don’t report injuries because they don’t want to pay the $500.
#27 I Think That’s Called Stealing…
The owner of the restaurant where I work steals 12 percent of the servers’ wages to pay for the manager’s salary. Sometime in March 2018, Congress passed the federal budget and made such arrangements illegal. I brought this to their attention but they disregarded everything I was saying. I want to report them but I think I’ll wait until I have a second job lined up. Once I have one, it’s over for them. Breaking this law is a $1,100 fine plus damages.
I just nailed a second interview today with a new company and I’ll hopefully have a new job soon. I’m about to taste sweet, sweet justice soon.
#26 Uh, They Do What T0 The Chicken?
I worked for one of the UK’s biggest poultry suppliers. One time, I saw frozen chicken packages that were over a year old get rebagged and sent out to local groceries and supermarkets with new date labels.
The company has been in trouble for similar practices before, but nothing major ever happens to them. So glad to be out of that place.
#25 Imagine Being Written Up For Going Number Two
You cannot go “number two” in the front restroom.
Well, it’s not a policy, but I was written up for it and told that if I have to go “number two,” I would need to go to the other bathrooms at the other end of the building.
#24 So They’re Just Not Going To Hire Any Women?
I got denied an internship I wanted with a company explicitly because I am female.
Direct quote: “We could send you to one of our offices, but it’s very male-dominated, so it’s probably best that we don’t.”
#23 Please Contact The Local Labor Department ASAP
We are exempt from overtime pay, but the company expects us to work extra hours and not be paid for it.
#22 Ignoring A Major Fire Hazard
My former employer fired me after I submitted an OSHA complaint about some black mold that I found growing in rooms we worked in for several hours a day. Our floor would also flood when it rained, and we were expected to continue to work with the electrical equipment.
#21 Smells Like Major Discrimination To Me
I worked at a place where all the women had to wear company-specific uniforms. Women were required to own 10 dress shirts, four pairs of pants or skirts, and suit jackets in navy, brown, black and grey.
They weren’t cheap. The employer paid $500 for the outfits but the rest of the costs were covered via payroll deduction throughout the year. We were not allowed buy the clothes from other stores and had to purchase what was offered by the company.
There was an outfit designated for every day of the week for female employees. The male employees, on the other hand, were allowed to wear dress pants, a shirt and a tie of their choosing. It felt like the company was discriminating against the females; as if they couldn’t be trusted to dress professionally.
I’m so glad I left.
#20 This Man Should Get A Pat On The Back, Not Unemployment
I worked as a loss prevention specialist at a store and came across an emergency situation during one of my shifts. A woman ran out of the family restroom holding a tiny, 4-day-old baby upside down with her hands. The baby had blood coming out of its mouth. She was screaming at me to call 911, so I did.
I was fired for not running that call by a manager.
A nurse in a nearby Starbucks helped out and the baby turned out to be okay. The nurse said it just had a reaction to formula or something.
#19 Glad She Got Out Of This Horror
I used to work for a large restaurant chain in the mid-2000s. Upper management wanted to switch everyone over to direct deposits instead of sending paychecks every two weeks.
On the next payday, the general manager tells me, “Your check didn’t come in because everything is direct deposit now. As soon as I get the forms from the bank sent over, they’ll send the money.” But a coworker of mine (who was also a manager) looked in the restaurant safe and found my check sitting in there. They had purposely withheld one of my paychecks and used the recent switch to direct deposits as an excuse for why they didn’t pay me that week.
My coworker handed me the paycheck and I made plans to quit ASAP. I waited until they were understaffed for a huge dinner rush and walked out the back door five minutes before my shift started.
On a separate occasion, the general manager called us all in for a staff meeting on a Saturday, super early in the morning. He threw forms in front of us and said, “These aren’t a big deal, just some new company policy. Everyone needs to sign or you won’t have shifts here.” I was obviously one of the few that read it, and it was just outrageous — they essentially waived our rights to breaks, our rights to leave after eight hours and our rights to overtime. So glad I left.
#18 This CEO Is All Kinds Of Messed Up
The CEO at the company I used to work for asked HR to put together a chart of which women were most likely to get pregnant. He was known to demote and force out those who got pregnant. Let’s just say there were lawsuits and he lost millions.
#17 Who Will Take Care Of This Manager When She Falls Over From Exhaustion?
I was a manager at a care home for people with disabilities. We had lots of problems with getting relief workers so when people called in sick it was up to me to cover.
I often worked overnight shifts during which I would assist people throughout the night if they needed help. I ended up getting very few hours of sleep each night.
I was often forced to work three or four days straight, without any time off because there was no one else. I couldn’t just leave either, because I would be abandoning the people who needed assistance.
I’m very pleased I don’t work there anymore.
#16 Sounds Like An Accident Just Waiting To Happen
I worked at a fast food place where the waitresses wore roller skates. It wasn’t required, but the ones who did roller skate were paid a dollar more per hour than the ones who didn’t.
One night, the owner accused some of the servers of removing their skates without notifying him and taking advantage of the higher pay. Most of the managers told him that wasn’t the case, but he refused to believe them. He forced the servers to keep their skates on even when they were cleaning the floors with soapy water. It was basically impossible to skate through the soapy water in the kitchen without falling.
One time, we got a new manager and he threatened to fire me for taking my skates off while cleaning. I left them off anyway and didn’t end up getting fired, but I still quit eventually because I couldn’t stay at a place that didn’t care about employee safety.
#15 So… An Employee Then?
I was hired as an “independent contractor,” but still had to work in their facilities full-time and follow the direction of their employees.
#14 Has No One Reported This Yet?
I worked in restaurants for a long time. At one place I worked at, the owners made the servers pay for walk-out tables (dine-and-dashers). If the server refused, they docked their pay. Super illegal. You cannot hold an employee responsible for someone else’s criminal act.
#13 This Is Absolutely Criminal
I work in auto sales and my company constantly moves the money around in order to hide the gross profit on commissions. They also like to charge fake maintenance on our vehicles to deflate the gross and move the money into the service department.
#12 Correct, That Is Blatant Sexism
#11 “They Covered Up A Case Of Shingles”
I worked at a nursing home this summer, and they did plenty of illegal stuff.
They covered up a scabies outbreak.
They covered up a case of shingles.
They announced that we were no longer allowed to say the word “understaffed.”
They made me work eight hours solo in a memory care unit with 46 residents, 21 of whom need changes during the night and 12 of whom were awake when the other employees left me there alone. The supervisor who should have been there was “too tired.”
One time, they made me come in even though I was so sick that standing upright left me winded. They told me I couldn’t leave until someone else who was trained on administrating the meds came in, but the person who was supposed to relieve me wasn’t available.
I eventually quit so I could go back to school. On Monday, I start a course on medical law and ethics for my bachelor’s. I will get to learn about all the other ways they broke the law.
#10 So Wrong On So Many Levels
They don’t say this out loud, but they won’t hire people who they deem overweight.
#9 In Case Of Shooter, Lock What Lock?
Most of the doors in my building had the locks removed. Every office could be entered by anyone. During safety talks regarding active shooter preparedness, they tell you to lock yourself in a room… yet they made that impossible.
#8 I Feel Like There Should Be Some Sort Of Training For This
As a broke teenager, I spent a month clearing brush. It was mostly with hand tools, but once in a while with a chainsaw.
We had no saw training and were provided no safety gear besides clouded safety goggles. If you hurt yourself with the chainsaw, you were fired that morning for unsafe saw usage.
#7 Yes, That’s Called Wage Theft
I do junk removal and a lot of time we miss lunch to stay on schedule. My boss says he still has to subtract 30 mins from our day even if we didn’t take it for a break. That’s illegal, right?
#6 Also Just Gross
I worked at a restaurant that would serve complimentary bread. When we would bus tables, if there was bread that wasn’t touched or messed up, we would throw it in a big box. Once the box was full enough they would make bread pudding. Illegal?
#5 That Should Go Through The Shredder
We write down credit card info over the phone on notepads and there’s no policy in place to dispose or even turn over the info. We just crumble and toss it.
Anyone can go in the garbage and grab tons of credit card information in our trash.
#4 This Just Sounds Sadistic
When I was in Canada, I did truck unloading at a department store. You HAD to show up 10 mins early to be let into the building. If you were nine mins early, you were too late and wouldn’t be let in until an hour later at best.
Of course, you were written up for tardiness. One of the managers even got a kick out of watching you suffer in the winter…
#3 That’s Really None Of Their Business
The local discount store requires every employee to give blood samples every year. You will get terminated if you live with someone of the opposite sex who is also not a legal family member.
I read that last clause and told them no thanks.
#2 It’s Not Against Policy, It’s Totally Legal
My manager has told me several times that pay is private and that it’s against policy to discuss pay with others. They tell employees this because they have a messed up pay system.
I’ve worked for said-company for about three and a half years, while one of my coworkers has been with the company her entire life. I make $6 an hour more than her and have less responsibility in general. They give everyone a yearly raise, but when they up the pay for the entire company they don’t add in the raise amounts. So if you made $11 an hour while everyone else made $9 and they raised the minimum wage for all employees to $11, you’d still be making $11 and so would the new guy. As of right now, I can think of at least five employees who I make more than, despite the fact that they have worked for the company longer than I’ve been alive.
I’m fairly certain there is a law stating that employers cannot stop employees from discussing their wages, but even if there is I’m not going to try my luck. I really need this job.
#1 They Were Just “Fundraising”
I used to work for a fitness company and my boss hired me at $10 an hour. She told me I had to work at least 30 hours a week and I was all for it.
Later, she schedules me for 12 hours a week, as well as two eight-hour shifts unpaid on the weekend. She tells me it’s unpaid because we would be “fundraising” on her behalf.