Retailers Paying Big Fines for Labor Violations

AMRFailure to comply with federal, state and union labor regulations cost retailers from a cross-section of trade categories an average of $250,000 in fines over the past 12 months, according to a new study from AMR Research.

BOSTON — Failure to comply with federal, state and union labor regulations cost retailers from a cross-section of trade categories an average of $250,000 in fines over the past 12 months, according to a new study from AMR Research here.

One-quarter of the respondents in the AMR study were food retailers; the rest were mass merchants/department stores (26%), restaurant and hospitality outlets (24%), and fashion/soft goods retailers (25%).

In the study, 20% of retailers acknowledged that they did not comply with federal labor laws, 32% did not comply with state regulations and 35% did not comply with union rules. The study also found that 47% of retailer respondents received complaints from employees regarding the accuracy of time-and-attendance data.

Another survey result showed that 82% of retailers allow someone other than the employee — typically a store or department manager — to have final approval over time cards.

"All of these retailers have policies prohibiting the falsification of this data," said Janet Sherlock, research director, retail, for AMR Research, this week in a webinar hosted by labor systems provider Kronos, Chelmsford, Mass. "But if someone other than the employee has final review of a time card, the retailer is left open to accusations of time shaving."

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