There are far too many shady employers out there who seem to think they can get away with whatever they want — often because other workers haven’t followed through on challenging them before, so they get too comfortable mistreating employees. But a story in r/antiwork is reminding people why it’s so important to understand your rights at every job.

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u/kissmaryjane said he was hired to work a delivery at the start of the year with a promise of a flat rate of $140 per day, 7 days per week. His boss claimed the hours were short, but the redditor soon discovered that not to be the case, as he described 12-19 hour work days, 60-80 hours per week, “delivering heavy ass fridges and sh-t up and down stairs.”

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A sketchy contract that insisted on terms like forfeiting an entire week’s pay if an employee missed a single day of work, coupled with the redditor’s claim that his first payment was received via Zelle rather than a standard paycheck served as additional red flags in a situation that didn’t seem above board from the jump.

And within several weeks of being hired, the long hours resulted in u/kissmaryjane oversleeping and missing a shift. After declining to make it up the following day, he said he was quitting the job, only to be hit with a slew of charges from his boss related to the days he worked and the day he missed.

“He then explains that because the dolly was left in the laundry room next to the driver installing the washer, I have to pay for it. And because a driver I was with crashed into a guard shack, I am responsible as well for that,” he wrote. “And the big one is he says that because I didn’t come to work, and he had to cancel the truck, he says the company he gets the contract from charges him $1000, So he will charge me $1000.”

But the boss wasn’t only trying to charge the employee for all these things, he was actually planning to deduct it from his paycheck — and later admitted as much via text, which was shared to reddit.

Photo via kissmaryjane/reddit

Despite the boss’s insistence that what he was doing was perfectly legal, readers disagreed and suggested the Redditor get in touch with the Department of Labor in his state to get things sorted, while also marveling at the audacity of this guy and far too many others like him seem to have.

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The Redditor actually came back and updated two months later, sharing a photo of a letter from the North Carolina Department of Labor and letting people know that they had opened an investigation into his former workplace. There aren’t any updated beyond that as of now, but the idea that someone taking such obvious advantage of his employees might see some sort of comeuppance was a nice turn to an otherwise depressing tale.

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*First Published: May 30, 2023, 6:29 am