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Dollar stores reported for poor work conditions, labor violations

Indiana residents may be interested in some allegations that have arisen regarding Dollar General and other popular dollar stores. These stores operate by offering goods at extremely low prices, which means that they often must try to cut other costs in order to make a profit. As a result, some employees have reported that these companies employ policies that may violate the Fair Labor Standards Act.

One manager reported working far more than 40 hours per week for Dollar General. She was given 125 hours to assign to four workers, who did not earn much more than minimum wage. Those 125 hours were not sufficient to do all of the work that needed to be performed. In order to keep employment costs down, the manager found herself working 12 hours per day, six days per week doing tasks such as acting as cashier, unloading trucks and stocking the shelves. As a result, the store was able to save money, because managers are exempt from minimum wage and overtime requirements. The woman worked nearly 70 hours per week at a flat salary of $34,700 per year, which works out to under $10 per hour.

In July 2011, the woman was injured on the job. Her doctor placed her on restricted duty, but she continued working. When the doctor ordered her to take two weeks off, the 49-year-old woman was fired. She then spent two years attempting to receive workers' compensation benefits.

Workers have rights. When an employee is injured on the job, the employer must pay for medical bills and lost wages. If an employer violates the law by refusing to provide medical leave or refusing to pay workers' compensation benefits, an employment law attorney may be able to help file suit against them.

Source: Huffington Post, "Join The Booming Dollar Store Economy! Low Pay, Long Hours, May Work While Injured", Dave Jamieson, August 29, 2013

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