A Wal-Mart Manager Talks About His Experience

Earlier this month, the Times reported that President Obama was seeking to expand overtime pay to millions of workers including “fast-food managers, loan officers, computer technicians and others whom many businesses currently classify as ‘executive or professional’ employees to avoid paying them overtime.”

Salon’s Josh Eidelson talked to an assistant manager at Wal-Mart about his experience working at his store, and how the new Labor Department regulations could affect him:

How many hours a week do you think you’re working now?
Right now, it’s consistently about 48 hours a week. However, when we get toward the holiday season …you’re regularly working 60 hours a week.

How much do you bring home … from doing that?
My yearly salary is $44,000.

What would change in your life if you were covered by overtime protections?
I think I would get more time with my family — and if I didn’t have more time with my family I would definitely have money … to compensate me for time spent away.

Right now, do you think there’s work that Wal-Mart has managers do rather than rank-and-file employees because they don’t have to pay you for overtime?
Absolutely … What the average customer sees in the store is forcing the manager to step out of that manager role, and into that hourly associate role. So you’ll have managers that are cashiering, stocking shelves … We’re trying to take care of our managerial duties too …

[Managers are] not getting proper lunches or getting breaks. There’s no way for Wal-Mart to ensure that we’re getting breaks, because we don’t punch a clock, of course – we don’t track our time.

More here.

Photo: Walmart

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3 Comments / Post A Comment

amaeve (#5,095)

I’m not saying this because I don’t have empathy for people working at Wal-Mart, but honestly my first thought was that when I was salaried at a nonprofit I worked so many more hours than that for soooo much less pay! I bet a lot of nonprofits are freaking out right now. I can’t imagine how things would have functioned if I had had to get overtime or work only 40 hours.

orejitasmiamor (#2,678)

@amaeve I know I’m late, but the big thing I worry about with this new move and the previous extension of health care coverage to more workers, is that companies will simply hire a few more people and cut everyone’s hours. I guess that would lead to more people having jobs, but then they may not work as many hours ever because higher management is trying to save money. When I waited tables I would get sent home as soon as I reached 30 hours because I was too close to overtime. It was so frustrating, too because I usually wanted to work more.

Perth (#6,253)

Someone from Salon talking about Walmart?!?! Yep, I’m sure that will be objective and rational.

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