Former Employee Claims Retail Store Takes Part in Questionable Practices
Sep 14, 2011 at 5:14 PM CST
Sep 15, 2011
Viviana Castaneda is a nineteen year old student and former employee of the store "Tate" at Mall del Norte. She claims the owner, Elizabeth Morales, who also owns "Betty's Closet" not only expects her employees to perform in poor working conditions but also takes part in many questionable practices. "We write down how many hours, from what time to what time we work. I usually work during the week from ten in the morning until 3 in the afternoon and I don't have any breaks. I can't go to the restroom and I can't sit down." Castaneda claims Morales pays all of her employees cash, under the table and usually an amount far from what they are justly owed. "She doesn't give us checks, she doesn't give us pay stubs, and there's no machine where we can clock in or clock out." Just last week, Castenada was handed an envelope with much less than what she was supposed to be compensated. "It has an envelope with my name and it has $14 inside when I worked 28 hours and I deserved to be paid 203 dollars and I only got paid $14." These photos are of signs that say not to turn on the air. The most shocking claims Castaneda brings about are of fraud and an employee designated to help her in these practices. "She makes her sew her own design and she cuts off the original designer's label ." We spoke to the owner, Elizabeth Morales and she claims her employees are treated well and compensated fairly. She also says it's too bad if someone has complaints because she is very busy and doesn't have the time to individually keep up with every incident. She refused to comment on camera and when asked if any of the claims were true, she told us she was not able to speak anymore. The victim filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor and Wages, several complaints to mall officials and a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission. "What I would want to happen, and I hope is going to happen, is that no one else works for her because no one deserves to be treated the way we've been treated."