An alleged Florida employee said his boss assigned “homework” to be done outside of business hours, outraging labor advocates online.
The anonymous employee, posting on Reddit as u/aweltkbs, said he had a sales job in Jacksonville, Florida. “Manager upset I’m doing ‘homework’ he assigned during company time,” he titled a post in the website’s “Antiwork” forum on Friday, quickly garnering nearly 17,000 votes and hundreds of angry comments.
The salesman said his manager assigned “homework” to employees if they did not meet their job’s “key performance indicators” (KPIs) each day. The task was always to find five new sales leads, he said.
“If I know I won’t hit [the KPIs] that day I do [the homework] during company time and send it to him right before I leave,” the worker explained. “He got upset with me saying that it was homework and shouldn’t be done on company time.”
To make matters worse, the worker said that his 24-year-old boss—who lived with his parents—was not understanding of the responsibilities that his older employees had outside of work, including childcare, cooking and chores at home.
“When you can’t understand how people that are heads of households [or] single parents don’t have as much time as you do, when [your] parents are making your food, taking care of bills, making sure the residence is clean [and in] good working order, that’s a problem,” said the frustrated employee.
The worker said he secured a new job and would be leaving the company soon, but other people were driven to quit immediately after the manager “snapped at them for not doing [the homework],
His internet audience was appalled, as many users questioned the legality of assigning “homework” to employees.
“In all seriousness, that should be reported to HR as unpaid time,” said a concerned comment with over 8,000 votes.
“Sounds like time theft on the manager’s part,” agreed another reader.
What Is Time Theft?
“Time theft” is considered a form of wage theft, which occurs when workers do not receive wages to which they are legally entitled. Reusing to provide overtime pay for employees who work over 40 hours a week or asking people to work “off the clock” before or after shifts are both versions of time theft, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
An EPI analysis found that between 2017 and 2020, $3.24 billion in stolen wages was recovered for workers by the US Department of Labor, state agencies and class action lawsuits. However, the real amount of money stolen from workers is much higher, as there is a lag in federal and state recovery and the vast majority of workers never file to recover stolen wages.
One estimate found that 98 percent of low-wage, private-sector, nonunion employees do not file a claim when their wages are stolen, according to the EPI.
Newsweek reached out to u/aweltkbs for comment.
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