American Automobile Association / AAA.com / aaa customer service
I want to inform you about some problems that have been going on for years with a towing company that you contract, S&J Towing in Pomona. The employees under your contracted S&J Towing company have been treated unlawfully and I think it is important for you to know. I have been employed by S&J Towing for 5 years. Howard and Bill are my managers and owners at this work place. I have always done my best to satisfy customers 100%, but I would like to explain some of the reasons why the work conditions prevented me from providing the best service possible and why you should reconsider contracting with this company unless they rectify their unlawful behavior.
First of all, S&J Towing over works its employees. For example, they would often have me working over 13hrs a day. There are times when I work over 12 hours without getting a lunch or break. I have brought this to their attention and I am told that I can quit if I don't like their rules, which is no lunch if there are still calls on hold. So, if I decide to take my lunch then I can lose my job. All the employees are threatened on daily basis with losing our jobs if we ask for lunch or break. After my 13-hour shift, I can go home but I am placed "on call". I don't have a choice about being "on call" or working overtime.
Second, S&J robs employees from their earned wages. As an employee, I am paid for regular hours not overtime. When I let Howard or Bill know about my check not adding up to the hours I work, they tell me they will look into it but never do anything. I recently put in a complaint with California Worker's Compensation because my overtime hours were not being paid. When I work 4 days out of the week on 13 hrs plus on call, I am unable to rest and get enough sleep. Sometimes I would feel drowsy and felt that it was unsafe to drive in those tired conditions. S&J does not care. When I take a call "on call", I never get paid appropriately as I should be. I am paid only for the time when I pick up the vehicle up to the time where I drop off the vehicle. So once the vehicles are dropped off where the AAA customer wants then I am no longer paid for the time to drive back to my home or office, regardless of the distance. For example, I have gone to locations 30-80 mins away at times from the office in Pomona, and I don't get paid to return to my location. I have even worked up to 17 hours straight and operating under 4 hours of sleep and they expect me to work another 12 hours the following day.
Third, S&J drivers are always timed and rushed with each customer and therefore cannot always provide excellent service to its customers. I was timed upon the arrival of each AAA call, which made it difficult for me to do my best with each customer. Due to the pressure of getting to a site I frequently would drive over the speed limit. Even though our trucks are monitored, we are rushed to get to a site instead of driving safe within the speed limit. This pressure has also caused me crash into vehicles and damage a few vehicles. Customers sign a waiver for damages before they are towed so that they can't do anything about the damages, however, when a customer complains about the damages S&J deducts from our paycheck to repay the customers for damages. They do this without prior notice that they will deduct from our paychecks.
Fourth, the tow trucks at this company are usually unsafe to drive because they are in poor conditions. For example, tow trucks are driven even when they have the check engine light on. This makes it a hazard for employees and customers to be in the vehicle. When I let the manager know about this they tell me I can either drive it or go home; which means I won't work. These trucks are being driven like this until they break down in the road where even we tow truckers end up asking for assistance ourselves and sometimes even when we are in progress of towing a car. This company also does not provide the proper tools and equipment for us to get the job done correctly. At times I had to use improper tools to change a tire or open a car. So, instead I bought some tools myself to do the job correctly. I think that providing employees with the proper work equipment is something our employer should do.
All of these problems have been going on since I started working at S&J five years ago and who knows for how long before then. I am not the only employee to be treated this way but everyone is scared to say anything because we are often threatened with being fired. S&J Towing takes advantage of me being a hard worker, but I have had enough. I like working with people and helping clients out in difficult situations with their cars, but I would also like to be treated with more respect by my employer. I think if they were following the laws then all of its drivers would do a much a better job in satisfying their customers at each call.
While, I understand it may be out of AAA's hands to help out employees like me who are being treated unlawfully, I think it is important to let you know the type of company that you are working with. S&J breaks the laws and does not treat their employees fairly or with respect. Perhaps you can inform this company that it is equally important to follow the labor laws and treat their employees fairly rather than only caring about servicing the AAA calls.
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