VanAntwerp Attorneys, LLP
Phone: 606-618-0698

‘Tis the season for seasonal workers

According to the National Retail Federation, the holiday season accounts for 20 to 30 percent of retail sales over the entire year. On average, revenues generated from the day after Halloween to the day before Christmas have increased 2.5 percent over the past 10 years.

While many workers enjoy time off during the holidays, retail employees on sales floors, in warehouses and behind cash registers are putting in long hours to cover the rush of gift-focused shoppers. Many work year-round through the peaks and valleys. However, a large number of store staff members are hired specifically for the season.

Store Profits Versus Workers’ Rights

Even with record holiday seasonal revenues, retail store owners still want to ensure a healthy bottom line. Oftentimes, that takes the form of an inexpensive temporary labor force. Paying lower wages keeps them competitive and shareholders happy.

Far too often, profits may come at the expense of their employees’ rights. While some labor violations may be accidental, others represent a pattern of deliberately denying workers their hard-earned pay.

Temporary workers are particularly susceptible to seasonal labor violations that include:

  • Not being paid for principal duties required by their employer, specifically preparing or closing out a register.
  • Working through breaks without pay
  • Putting in more than 40 hours a week without overtime pay

According to the Department of Labor, nearly 15,000 workers were owed $14.7 million in back wages in 2016 or $1,000 per employee. That amount is double the typical retail worker’s weekly earnings and triple the weekly wages for cashiers.

Accusations of wage and hour violations are high stakes matters for both employees and employers. Serious disputes require help from an experienced employment law attorney.

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