Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Coronavirus Update 3-25-2020: The 5th nominee for the “worst employer of 2020” is … the coronavirus stimulus snatcher

Can we just close the poll now and announce today’s nominee the winner? If anyone can verify the identity of this employer I’d love to know who it is.

Alison Green, over at Ask a Manager, provides the truly awful details.
I work in an administrative role at a national restaurant chain. 
I just got off of a conference call with corporate in which they told us that if the U.S. government sends us the proposed stimulus checks due to Covid 19, they plan to absorb the money we receive by cutting our hours to reflect that amount. In other words, if each person receives a check for $1,200, $1,200 will effectively go back to the company. Is this legal?

Legal? Yes.*

Morally repugnant and disgustingly reprehensible? Also, yes.

There is no reason (other than flat-out greed and corporate gluttony) to “absorb” an employee’s stimulus check by reducing working hours in a pro-rata amount. It is just the worst, given the current state of health and financial crisis in which we find ourselves.

If you know of an employer doing awful coronavirus-related things to its employees, please let me know by contacting me or by leaving a comment below. I’d like to think that we are better than this, but sadly I know that many are not. And those that aren’t should be held accountable.

* Note: Employers cannot dock the pay of exempt employees for hours not worked in a week without jeopardizing the employee’s exemption, along with the exemption of employees in the same job classification working for the same managers (subject to limited exceptions).