Is Staples Cheating Its Employees?

APWU Web News Article #010-14, Jan. 21, 2014

Is Staples guilty of chronically cheating its employees out of their hard-earned wages?

According to 2010 report by the National Employment Law Project [PDF]:

“Our nation’s workers too often are cheated out of their hard-earned wages. In a growing number of industries, employers have institutionalized the practice of flouting basic workplace protections like the minimum wage and overtime pay. In the last year alone, workers have recovered tens of millions of dollars in unpaid wages from their employers in a range of industries.”

The most egregious example cited in the report? Staples.

In 2010, the office-supply store paid $42 million to settle a dozen class-action lawsuits dating back as far as 2002 alleging the company misclassified assistant store managers to avoid paying them overtime. The office-supply chain refused to admit any wrongdoing.

Just three years earlier, Staples paid $38 million to settle a similar class-action lawsuit.

A 2012 study by NELP put Staples among the 50 largest low-wage employers in the country, but Ron Sargent, Staples’ CEO, earns a cool $20 million per year.

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