A mom is going viral on TikTok after claiming that the Dollar General store where her son works part-time required him to clock out earlier than he was allowed to leave work, forcing him to effectively work for free.
She said that he was told management was concerned about employees hitting overtime hours. However, since she says he only works 15 hours a week, there's no way he's in danger of doing that.
She adds in the viral TikTok that this has happened more than once, and claims this particular location is trying to extract free labor from its employees.
The U.S. Department of Labor takes wage theft very seriously, and even has a website dedicated specifically to filing complaints against businesses accused of the practice.
TikToker Rebecca DeOliveira, who posts under the handle @blish1122 says in the video, "So, Dollar General, I would like to have a little chitty chat with you."
"You guys pop up on every corner, everywhere, so you must be doing real good, right? So please tell me why last night I went to go pick up my 19-year-old from work, he was scheduled until 9:30, I got there at 9:20, at 10:43 he walked out the door and informed me that he had been off the clock since 9:30."
Rebecca continued, "Because the managers are concerned about employees getting overtime. Mind you, he gets 10 to 15 hours a week, so he's nowhere close to the 40. And then he proceeded to let me know the last time he worked they had to clock out at 9:30 but didn't leave 'til 10:20."
The mom was not having it. "I explained to him, 'well no, that's illegal. Because they can't make you work for free.' And he said, 'well I'm not allowed to leave until the manager's done counting the money.' And I said, 'you're not allowed to clock out until you're done working.'"
She went on, stating what her next course of action was going to be. "So, in about 20 minutes, at 8 o'clock when your HR opens, I'm gonna be giving you a call. And I really hope you handle this and don't make me call the Labor and Wage Board, because I made a little post on the Facebook and it turns out that this must be protocol."
Rebecca says, according to anecdotes she's seen on social media, this is standard operating procedure at other Dollar General stores. "And you're doing this nationwide? I mean, is no one like actually complaining? Because let me tell you guys something, if you are at work, you have to be clocked in. They cannot make you clock out and keep you in the store."
She finished her post by saying, "I mean, I'm a little shooketh right now, but I'm gonna let you guys know how it goes. Dollar General, get your s--t together. If you can't afford to pay your employees, then stop putting up stores."
In the comments section of her original post, she stated that she was going to contacted the Labor and Wage department, which is something many other TikTokers urged her to do regardless of the company's response.
She also uploaded follow-up posts after her phone call with the chain, which she says was inconclusive. In another video she posted her son's recounting of events. He delved into how managers keep employees in the store even after they were instructed to clock out.
Have you ever experienced at any of the jobs you've worked? Do you think that the store is banking on the fact that they can get away with this with younger employees who will more than likely not say anything for fear of losing their job or not knowing any different?
Distractify has reached out to Dollar General's PR team for further comment.