Schwan's Food Companyillegal pay practices/slave labor

S Review updated:

I was hired in April 09 as a Customer Service Manager Trainee at $32, 000 per year salary. The Customer Service Managers make a Salary of $38, 000 per Year. Everyone is told that they are Salary employees and need to work 12-14 hours per day 5 or 6 days a week to meet their sales goal. Whatever it takes, do it as you are a Salaried manager.

Well in June I suffered heat exaustion while working and took off two days per doctors instructions. Schwans DID NOT pay me for those two days. I called their payroll department and told them that I was a Salary employee and as such should be paid my weekly rate per the U.S. government guidelines for a salary position. The payroll clerk Theresa told me well we pay you guy's by the day, if you don't work five days in the week you only get paid for what you work. I have taken this up with the Depot Management only to get the runaround for the past 3 weeks.
Also I asked the payroll clerk if the pay for the 6th day if you do work 6 days and I was told No, only five days a week.

This company is using the "cover" of Salary to demand their employees work 60-70 hours per week for a small weekly paycheck for their benefit but "Dock" employees if they don't work due to illness. Pretty lowlife type of business Schwans seems to have here.

I have filed a complaint with the U.S. Labor board and will be meeting with a representative in Phoenix this week. They agree that it looks like Schwans is not using the salary position as the U.S. Labor board has set forth. I am not doing this for myself as I am leaving this horid company but for the friends I have left behind that have no choice but to put up with this poor treatment by Schwans of their employees, the true ones that make the company money!


  • D
      Jul 11, 2009

    You expect to get paid when you didnt work? You do not have to work that number of hours per week, that is what is suggested to meet the sales goal. If you can meet your sales goal working 32 hours per week then thats all you need to work.

    -1 Votes
  • M
      Jul 20, 2009

    Good for you for filing a complaint. I was a route driver for Schwan's in Washington for over a year. I recently quit due to their excessive and required hours with no additional pay. I was working 60+ hours and have filed a claim with WA L&I for 182 unpaid overtime hours. Schwan’s is violating the outside sales exemption law because according to ES.A.9.7 page 4 #8 and #9, employees must be free to regulate their own hours and must be advised that they are overtime-exempt. I was a great employee who loved and was loved by my customers. Their mistreatment and unethical behavior is despicable. Best of luck with your complaint!

    0 Votes
  • G
      Jul 29, 2009

    You knew what was required when you got hired. Stop being a big baby and move onto a job where you can work 40 hrs a week . I have been a route manager for 13 years and what I have seen over the years is most of you out there just do not want to work.

    0 Votes
  • W
      Feb 27, 2010

    You that say you can work 32 hours is a fool. You are required to work at least 12 hours a day no matter what. I had a sales goal of $850 the other day and I did $1250 and came in at 6:30 because I am on "light duty" from a work related injury and I was told I was suppose to stay out the 12 hours. The employee doesn't matter its the money that the LSM and company that matters.

    0 Votes
  • M
      Jul 13, 2010

    hey grape push ups how is your relationship with your wife and kids???

    I worked at that hole for 1 month before i read through the lines.My friend told me how great the checks were but what he didnt tell me was insane hours and company men as bosses. as for the "not working"comment your a [censor]. what good is a check when you have no time to spend it. the depot managers are at home with their wife and kids by 3pm while laughing at you for being out all night to make your little 55 dollars for the day.

    The top producer in the depot here, wife cheats on him, kid barely knows him, he works until 12 am. Its called work not slave labor. Schwans is by far the worst company in the country..

    FYI.. I moved back into my career field(thank god they took me back). which is a monday-friday 6-2:30 outside job and make more in one week than your top producer does at schwans in the tucson depot and dont have to stay out until the crows come home to do it and dont have to pressure sale senior citizens into buying over priced frozen pizzas.

    Lets to the math grape

    you make schwans 1500

    your cut is 165 bucks for the whole day

    you come in at 7 am-get off at 9 pm

    14 hours to make 165 bucks schwans number crunchers would call that 11 an hour.. US dept of Labor would call it BS..

    If a jack in the box employee makes 8.50 an hour and works 8 hours makes 68 bucks, if they are really dedicated and work 6 hours overtime at the time and a half rule makes 76.50 for a grand total of 144.50 in a day.

    so you have to sell 15oo dollars a day to make more money than a jack in the crack employee does in the same time frame..

    -2 Votes
  • W
      Oct 24, 2010

    I too was a thirteen year employee. Ten years on routes, a regular chairman's club achiever, or at worst President's club, and three years in middle management. I guess I just have to learn to live with being lazy. Silly me. I thought that I could change some of these things. These people are among the worst. Liars, cheats, and thieves. So you suffered heat exhaustion on the job. Many others have suffered worse, and have been raked over the coals by the company for filing workers' comp claims. Many will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives, and the company will continue to fight every inch of the way to keep from paying those claims.

    The pay issues are old news. For years we were paid for attending scheduled meetings that lasted for days, until we were flatly told that would no longer be the practice, and with no explanation, despite the fact that we were required to attend, for the most part having to travel out of town for the duration of those meetings. Vacations, which were hard enough to come by, were once paid at a rate that was the average of what you had been running on routes. That was later reduced to a much lower amount. This is only the most current in the long list of abuses, and there is no end to their creative means to find other ways to cheat you.

    As for the company people out there who pledge glassy eyed fealty to the company, they are sad examples of humanity with no worthwhile life, or soulless individuals with an abiding disregard for moral principles, and with profit as their guiding light. They will not stop. Avoid them at all cost.

    These people are not about to change. A few people at the top are making a killing, if they have to by killing its rank and file employees.
    Ahh. The Amerikan dream.

    -1 Votes
  • H
      Jan 25, 2011

    I am a wife of someone who works at Schwans and I feel like a single mom. I never see my husband and he has missed all of our child's "firsts." I don't understand how someone who works for this company for 20 years can look back on their life and feel like they have "lived life to the fullest" or honestly lived life at all.

    0 Votes
  • D
      Feb 25, 2011

    For some reason I've been thinking about this and feel that I should write. My father worked for Schwans for about twenty years while I was in high school and in college. My dad was led to believe that hard work would pay off. Unfortunately, living from paycheck to paycheck for years, he finally retired in his sixties. Becasue Schwan's couldn't let him go legally, he hit the pavement for years working 18 hours days, working night shifts as a janitor, and other various laborious jobs. I've grown to resent this place as my father has since incurred heart surgery and much more from his overly physical, long hours, away from home weeks at time to try to make a simple paycheck to support his family. I have no respect for Schwans and would love a mass lawsuit against them for their unorthodox practices. I missed having my dad around for years. I just wish my dad would have left schwans sooner instead of thinking that the values he grew up with like hard work and loyalty would pay off.

    0 Votes
  • S
      May 10, 2011

    I can understand all of theses views. I currently work with "said company" you say long hours...You say hard work...Well I don't know many jobs where those are not some sort or requirement. I worked for rentacenter for 4 years. Carrying couches, refridgerators freezers plasma tvs, amoung many other items, the pay at first was great, But then as you progress with the company the "physical strain" lowers and the mental strain greatens. If you honestly take a job and are not ready for long hours and hard work, do work at the crack a jack box they were talking about earlier. I have worked for some of the "biggest" companies in the world, Rentacenter, Walmart, and trust me long hours yes... hard work yes... Its a matter of the indiv. hired weather the long days and hard work is worth the check they recieve. Schwanns is far from "hard work" a masons job is hard work, the hardest part about schwans is climbing in and out of the truck, serioulsy, your carrying pizza ice cream and corn... not "hard work" long hours yes, not long work. As for me I am a husband and a father of 2. my days off weather 1 or 3 in a week goes to them no matter how tired or "exhausted" I am. The man doing this job has to make that sacrifice to make sure his family comes first, I havn't missed much of my kids life and do not plan on it...They are my world, and with out them and my wife I wouldn't be in exsistance...

    0 Votes
  • L
      Jan 14, 2012

    My husband works for Schwan's and a lowlife named Doug who manages the Dublin depot. My husband retired from law enforcement and wanted a change and thought Schwan's would be a great company to work for. He works 70 hours a week and his last paycheck for two weeks was around $700 dollars. This company is the absolute worst company in the way they treat employees. They boast how they are a "family oriented" company but they lie. All they worry about is themselves making money while the employee suffer by never seeing their families and getting underpaid. This local depot is always hiring and I see why now. Don't fall for their pay pitches either. It's all a lie! My husband is willing to work all the hours if the pay is what they say it will be...but it isn't anywhere near what they claim! Not only do I not recommend anyone working for Schwan's, I also recommend you not support the company by buying any of their slave labor products.

    0 Votes
  • S
      Apr 10, 2014

    Schwans managers tell you up front that this is what we expect from you. When you accept the job you know what the job is about so stop your complaining. You ###s never should of came to a company where you actually have to work like your grandparents used to work. I work 12-14 hrs a day 5 days a week and make 70, 000 a year and love it. I get paid for the work I do. My wife loves spending the money I bring in too.

    -1 Votes

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