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Hi, I have quite a problem at my job here in Texas. First of all, me and my wife are somehow coming up shot on our registers. It sounds like we just don't know how to count money, but my "manager" claims that almost every day we are short like $5, $10... somehow my wife was short $11 twice in a row. For two days. Also that I was short $48 this last Friday. Now we are not stealing or giving away free money or over changing people  to the extent of $48. It just sounds ridiculous. Secondly this last store meeting we had, our "manager" decides to humiliate me in front of the other workers. We work 8-10 hour shifts without a break. Which I know is not against Texas law. But I definitely feel ostracized. We are supposed to get paid on the fifth and twentieth of each month, but if the checks aren't in its just, oh well maybe tomorrow. I can't quit because it's the only place that hired me. What can I do? Please help.


From your question it sounds like you are in the middle of a few different issues that make your work situation less than ideal-- also compound the fact you and your wife seem to work for the same company.   Also much of your question is not really  HR related but more retail policy issues not being implemented.    Yes,  pay must be paid on the pay day,  but there are many more serious far reaching issues here in your short question.

There are issues with wage and hour laws, fair pay law, whether minimum wage is violated for "cash shortages"  if you have to pay this money back. There are issues of theft by someone and also issues so simple as not having a better process to prevent the shortage in the first place.   Also not knowing what the owner's side is also hard for me to know how best to answer.

I could not possibly cover all the bases here for a black and white  "answer".    There are many answers.   So I will offer you these options:

1-  both you and your wife must realize you are not trapped and you can look for other work-- even with having an 8 - 10 hour shift.   Finding a good job is a FULL TIME job.   So, take your skills elsewhere.  It may take a few months,  but you will never help yourself by just going to work,  you always have to look for something a little better and ONLY  make the move when you have secured the better more secure job.   NEVER  quit a job-- then look for work  and also NEVER   jump to another company unless you are sure it is stable and work is ongoing to the best possible extent.  You would not want to leave one job to find you are soon laid off from the next one.

2  It is possible even the owner or another employee is stealing cash unknown to you and your wife.  ONLY  two real options-- someone is stealing or you can't count.   Money does not just dissapear by itself.  Maybe some goofball has some  petty scheme going on...and you are the rube.

I can tell you no retail/ convenience store owner with two brain cells to rub together would EVER keep employees on payroll who regularly steal or always end up coming up short on cash drawers.   Add up the figures for a slow "cash bleed" like $5 or $9  per day is a lot of money over a year especially at 1 to 5 % retail margins.   Also, you said "shortages",  but is there ever any overage ???     no??  of course not-- this is THEFT.  BAD MATH also results in overages, not just shortages.   Last, is the missing money in whole dollar increments?     Or is change missing too?    $5  $7  $ 9  missing in whole "neat"  easy to pocket dollar amounts is likely theft....  and   $ 5.41   $ 7.18  or  $ 9.93     can be theft too,  but may also seem like bad math is sometimes there is an overage of   $ 6.76 cents.

Thieves are not smart enough to put money back sometimes.  This is why they are stupid and put more effort into looking for a way to take somethign for nothing instead of work harder to earn money and improve their situation.   So,  on the other hand, if the manager is not stealing, and somehow you are still coming up short ,  then you should really count slowly and carefully  and keep a good eye on other employees who are hanging you out to dry.

3.   LAST-- and the best most obvious option  ( IN ADDITION FROM # 1 above)  is to ask to institute your Company's  "Cash  Drawer  Policy".    Look on Google and there are many resources to come up with a policy to make the rules for keeping drawers accurate.   Before you begin at the drawer,  change drawers so you start with a fresh drawer.  You count the money and change and there should be a set starting total amount-- say  $ 100.  from there, only one person uses one drawer/ register..  At the end of the shift, print the register report from your activity and your totals will equal the drawer totals.  Clear the register and next employee uses a fresh drawer..

This is relatively straight forward and if you just stand in a supermarket and watch the check out girls come and go and punch in their ID's and change out drawers you can see they have their act together.     If you get the nerve,, go to a local supermarket and explain the situation and ask if you could get a copy of their policy-- ask the store owner or the HR department and maybe they will just give it to you.  For an established store with their act together,  this valuable info to you would be  like asking a friend for a piece of gum.  

There is a REASON  your employer ALLOWS  the missing money-- only you and the employer know the reason.   IF you want to call and discuss this,  look up my number on my website at

I hpe this helps you somehow.

Brian Phillips

Human Resources

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Brian Phillips


Foreign and US university students -*PLEASE*- DO NOT waste your time asking for my opinions, comments or analysis of your homework questions. Homework questions are not answered and are rejected. I am happy to help answer questions asked by employees and employers regarding United States based state and Federal wage and hour, OT, Fair labor standards, FMLA, COBRA, Recruiting, Interviewing techniques, employee manuals, discipline, terminations/quits, unemployment, HRIS rollout, Employee Leasing or Staffing company cost analysis, day to day scenarios, work situations and more. Essentially a well rounded HR generalist who operates Harvis, Inc., a human resource consulting and service business based in Northeastern Pennsylvania "NEPA".


At Harvis, Inc., we provide Human Resource products, services and advice to small businesses that may not have the time or resources to hire a full time HR department. For larger companies with HR managers in place, we compliment their expertise to help with time consuming or time sensitive projects like updating policy manuals, screening and interviewing and more. We make workplaces better by becoming that 1/2 person they need to help handle HR responsibilities on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Formerly responsible for all Human Resource activity for a staffing agency with 2,500 annual employees as well as an employee leasing / PEO business with 1,500 annual employees. Designed and implemented the HR structure to support hundreds of clients in excess of $ 500 million in payroll volume over career in Human Resources.

* President 2006- Harvis Inc. HR Services * President 2010-13 Business Association of the Greater Shickshinny Area - Shickshinny PA * President 2013- ShickshinnyForward Not for Profit Community Long Term Revitalization Organization and former member of varios Chambers of Commerce and HR Taskforce, former President of NBC Business Club 2 years

Bloomsburg University - 1993 BS Marketing, Bloomsburg Pennsylvania and Luzerne County Community College - 1991 Business Administration, Nanticoke Pennsylvania

Awards and Honors
* Better than average - 20/10 vision * Bestowed with an occasional "Thank You" from clients and their employees.

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