My girlfriend just started a manager-in-training job at a popular restaurant. It seems to me like the woman training her is playing fast and loose with the rules, but it could just be that the company culture is toxic. I want to help my girlfriend follow all labor laws, but at the same time she can't afford to lose her job (more on that later).
A few things that have happened in the two weeks she's had the job:
- She asked about being paid for time she worked at home (taking management tests that took 1-2 hours, calling into the store to check up on things, etc). Her trainer said "well I can put the hours in for you, but personally I don't do that for myself." It seems like she's trying to intimidate my girlfriend into not getting paid for legitimate work. She also lied because there's no reason for her to log hours that she works from home because she (the trainer) is an exempt salaried employee.
- She saw another management trainee be talked down to for asking about reimbursement when he was asked to drive an hour away to another store.
- As an addendum to the last bullet point, she is expected to take money to the bank each day using her personal car. This probably takes about 25-30 minutes each day, but she doesn't get reimbursed.
- Some days she only works 6 hours, but at least once a week she is expected to open AND close the store, which is around 14 hours a day.
- Everyday she is expected to fill out a review of how the training is going and answer several questions. This is sent up to higher management. On one question that asked how training could be improved, her trainer erased her answer and told her she should just put "N/A". And on another question, when asked how she was improving her weaknesses she wrote that she was "studying at home", but her trainer erased the "at home" portion.
If my girlfriend completes training, she will be an assistant manager, but could also become the general manager over the entire store if she does well enough. However, "well enough" to them seems to be killing yourself with work and going around labor laws (paid for every hour you work).
Reason she can't quit: She's on a one-year work visa. If she is out of a job for more than 90 days, she will be deported out of the country. So quitting without having another job will start the clock on the 90 days.
Finally, my question is what kind of options does she have to keep her job, because she likes the idea of being an AM or GM, but also improve the working conditions (specifically being paid for all work)? Is it a bad idea to report her trainer to higher management?