Home Depot may be one of the biggest home improvement stores, but it certainly needs to improve its employee conditions, especially when it comes to paying overtime.
Home Depot also hires as many temporary personnel as possible so it doesn't have to pay overtime or insurance. (This might explain lack of qualified customer service).
Melinda Devries (not her real name due to a pending lawsuit) helped open a Home Depot store in Vienna, West Virginia in January, 2004. She gave up a good managerial job in a "Mom and Pop" operation to join the Home Depot team and she worked hard. She was promoted in February 2005 by the management team who originally hired her. Little did she know that everyone was leaving, including her operations manager.
"This was bad news because I really liked my old team," says Devries. "When the original team left, the place fell apart.
"I was promoted to front end supervisor and that was the position I was also trained to do, but the new management had other ideas. I ended up working as a cashier, five days a week but about 10 hours per day. However, I was being paid a supervisory salary with no overtime. But I couldn't do this job for that many hours as I have a back condition.
"I talked to HR and wanted to step down from the position, but they told me that I would have to quit in order to step down. My doctor filled out a form saying that I could not do any lifting and only work a 4-6 hour shift because I couldn't stand on my feet longer than that.
"The new manager said if I quit he would put me in training to do something else but I didn't believe him. I didn't get a dime of overtime on my checks as a cashier, so why would I believe anything they told me?
"At Home Depot, the HR department has a third party phone line where employees can call if you feel that something is wrong. You can complain anonymously or not. I gave my name: that was a mistake. There is supposed to be no retaliation but on June 21st, my manager pulled me off the register and said that, because I called the 'aware line', I had to be re-evaluated and there was currently no position left for me.
"What he did is against company policy and state law. This guy said that he would put me on personal leave. I wasn't requesting to be off work without pay. He wouldn't put anything in writing so I retaliated and called the district manager of HR.
"I have been out of work since December 7th. I called HR again and asked for my job back. The new district HR manager told me that I was 'making a mountain out of a molehill' and I could take my old job back but I wasn't owed any overtime payments.
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Working at Home Depot: Bigger isn't Better
|. By Jane Mundy|
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