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College sophomore, Suzy Smart, works part-time in the Handi Mart
convenience store near campus. The store manager requires that each clerk
arrives 15 minutes prior to the start of the shift so that the clerk going
off-duty can review the sales figures and cash status with replacements before
leaving. The clerk going off-duty punches the timecard after this review, but
the incoming clerk is not allowed to punch in until the review is completed and
they have agreed that the sales and cash figures are accurate. Sometimes, this
exercise takes more than 15 minutes, and no matter how long it takes, the clerk
coming on-duty may not punch the timecard and start earning wages until the
process is completed.
Suzy, who completed a course on labor and employment law, realizes
that the store manager is violating the FLSA by not allowing the incoming clerk
to punch the time clock upon arrival. She brings this issue up with the store
manager, who tells her that Handi Mart’s parent corporation does not allow the
store to compensate two clerks for the same period of time, no matter how
brief, since this is classified by the corporation as a single coverage store.
Furthermore, he adds ominously, if Suzy complains to the Wage and Hour Division
of the DOL, he will probably be forced by the company to lay Suzy off, along
with other part-timers, and cover the store himself for the evening shifts. He
states, “You may get everyone a few dollars in back pay, but you’ll also
cost everybody their jobs. Remember, some of your co-workers are single parents
who need this extra income to make ends meet.”
Has the store manager violated FLSA? Explain? Explain how you
would address this scenario as an HR professional.