We all spend a huge chunk of our lives working, so there’s no surprise that we all want the working conditions to be proper. Think about your typical workday. You arrive, say hello to your colleagues, do your job, take a break to the bathroom or for a snack or lunch, then you leave. All the while, the expectation of being appreciated and treated properly are typically assumed as part of the package deal.
Well, that’s not always how the workday shakes out for some employees. In fact, for some of the employees working for the companies listed below, their workdays involve not being paid, being detained, and even wearing adult diapers. You will not believe the conditions some employees endure in order to earn a paycheck.
1. Zara opting out of paying employees
“I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it.” That is what the tags read that were attached to clothing being sold at Zara’s Instanbul store. As the story unfolds, the owner of the factory that employs these workers has been keeping the compensation received from Zara’s parent company Inditex. Not okay. While Inditex stands by the fact that it fulfilled its obligation to pay employees, the looming question is whether it will support these employees now that these details have emerged. Inditex claims it will create a “hardship fund” to assist the unpaid workers. Let’s hope Inditex stands by its word.
Next: Open your bag! We need to make sure you didn’t steal anything.
2. Forever21 detains employees to search their bags
Back in 2012, a class action lawsuit was brought against the fast-fashion company, Forever21. The lawsuit alleged that Forever21 not only regularly detained employees to search their bags for stolen goods but also claimed that the company was not paying employees for their work. Furthermore, Forever21 was not providing proper meal breaks.
Next: Routine bathroom breaks or adult diapers? You choose.
3. Tyson employees wear adult diapers because they are not allowed proper breaks
No relief for Tyson employees. It’s no major secret that Tyson’s working environment isn’t ideal. But when it comes to employees being able to simply take bathroom breaks, it wasn’t happening. Workers claimed they wouldn’t consume water or liquids in order to avoid the need for going to the restroom. The bottom line? Tyson workers were wearing adult diapers in order to relieve themselves of normal bodily functions. Now if that doesn’t make you want to avoid Tyson chicken, I don’t know what will.
Next: Fancy electronics, appalling working conditions
4. Apple employees trapped in appalling working conditions
The demand for the latest and greatest Apple products has apparently caused factory workers who assemble the devices to be forced into unsafe and unrelenting working conditions. So much that BBC went undercover to investigate. One BBC undercover reporter was required to work 18 days straight, even after requesting days off. Some workers were literally falling asleep on the line, due to working such long and strenuous hours. Of course, Apple claimed it enacted regulations to avoid these harsh working conditions. However, other undercover reporters claimed those regulations were often breached.
Next: This retail store engaged in slave-like working conditions for its employees
5. Sears and its brutal sweatshops
Do you remember that once uber-popular retail store Sears? It’s not a surprise that the company is holding on by the skin of its teeth. In 2003, a report revealed that Sears’ clothing was predominantly produced overseas in sweatshops with slave-like working conditions. Workers would regularly go unpaid for their jobs, and when they protested the inhumane conditions, factory owners would shut off the electricity, creating an even worse environment. Nevertheless, Sears would slap a tag on the products and sell away.
Next: Raise your hand if you want to just spend the night at your place of employment.
6. Family Dollar avoided proper pay by making employees salaried managers
Typically, when you receive a promotion to manager, it’s something to celebrate, right? If you are employed by Family Dollar, that might not be the case. You see, Family Dollar would opt to promote employees to manager in order to pay them a salary. In turn, these managers would work arduous hours, inevitably making less per hour than a cashier. Furthermore, employees of Family Dollar opted to just sleep overnight in the store due to long hours. No thanks.
Next: Better ingredients. Worse pay.
7. Papa John’s class-action lawsuit for underpaying delivery drivers
In 2015, Papa John’s Pizza company was hit with a class-action lawsuit for underpaying its delivery drivers. How bad was it? Drivers were supposed to be paid 45 to 55 cents per mile when delivering pizzas, yet Papa John’s was paying the drivers $1 to $1.50 per trip — no matter how far away the delivery. The lawsuit represented 19,000 drivers, and wouldn’t you know Papa John’s settled for $12.3 million. Shame on Papa!
Next: Modern-day slavery is a real thing.
8. DJ Houghton are modern day slave-drivers
Many of you haven’t heard of DJ Houghton. The company sells chicken in the U.K. The company also illegally trafficked six men to their facilities to catch chickens — typically without pay. The men were assaulted and harassed and eventually escaped DJ Houghton. At that point, these men sued the company, and in 2016 received over $1 million collectively in an out-of-court settlement.
Next: An intern fell dead from the overwork and stress from this well-known wealth management firm.
9. Merrill Lynch interns worked 16 to 20 hours a day
Moritz Erhardt, a 21-year-old intern at Merrill Lynch, died of an epileptic fit in 2013. Erhardt had been working 72 hours without sleep before he died. While the definitive results of the death could not be completely blamed on Merrill Lynch, other interns claimed that 20-hour days were “par for the course” when it came to interning for Merrill Lynch. The company claimed it was taking a look at the working conditions of its junior employees.
Next: What’s not prime? These Scottish working conditions.
10. Amazon employees in Scotland camp outside of warehouse because they can’t afford to commute
In Dunfermline, Scotland, Amazon’s fulfillment warehouse has been under a bit of fire. Employees claim they are unable to afford the cost of commuting, so instead, they camp out in tents near the warehouse during the dead of winter. The working conditions of the warehouse are considered “intolerable”, and employees claim they are being penalized for taking sick days. What’s even worse? Employees are to pay for the company shuttle ride to and from the warehouse. Shame, shame, Amazon.
Next: Poverty wages and malnutrition are causing thousands of factory workers to faint.
11. H&M’s factory employees collapsing by the thousands
According to a recent report, over 8,000 Cambodian H&M factory workers have fainted due to intolerable working conditions. These sweatshops are considered H&M’s highest-rated suppliers, yet the workers are being paid less than minimum wage. H&M claims to be an ethical retailer, yet its workers that create the products are becoming ill due to the harsh working conditions. Could it be time to re-evaluate where we spend our dollars?
Next: Does this company put a bulls-eye on its employees?
12. Target shut down a New York store to keep employees from unionizing
In case you didn’t know this, Target is not a fan of its employees unionizing. Anti-union propaganda has littered stores with employees considering a union. In Valley Stream, New York, one pamphlet circulated with the haunting question of “Will the store close if the union gets in?” This sort of propaganda is used in order to intimidate employees from voting in favor of a union. After the union was shot down, employees continued to rally. Then suddenly, the employees were informed that the Target location would be closing down for renovations. Hmmm, a little curious right?
Next: The rich will just keep on getting richer with this company.
13. CVS – the higher the salary, the lower the raise
The pharmacy and drugstore chain known as CVS has some pretty sketchy business practices when it comes to taking care of its employees. According to a report, the company’s top employees making the highest salaries are red-lined. Once red-lined, these employees do not receive additional raises. The psychology is pretty simple. Once an employee realizes they have topped-out for their salary, they will leave the company. Whatever happened to wanting to retain the best employees?
Next: Crappy pay and work-life balance have these employees disgruntled.
14. Dillard’s terrible pay and work-life balance
Dillard’s department store is mid-range in comparison to its higher-end rival Macy’s. So what’s the problem over at Dillard’s? Employees are very unhappy. Dillard’s employees find the sales quota goals are nearly impossible to meet. One employee claimed that falling short of the sales quota resulted in pay cut after pay cut. Because of the nature of Dillard’s management practices, employee moral continues to be extremely low.
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15. Walmart doesn’t care about your sick day
America’s largest private employer needs to get it together when it comes to its employees need for a sick day or two. A recent survey of 1,000 current and previous employees shed much light on Walmart’s management practices. One former employee was fired after being in a car wreck on her way to work. When she called her manager, she was told it would be fine. The next day, the front manager refused her doctor’s note and fired her due to missing the day. Not a very comforting and secure work environment, eh?
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