'Not Her Parent': Woman Backed for Reporting Sister's Job Over Wage Theft

The internet defended a woman who helped her sister report her job for wage theft and violating the law in a new viral post.

Published to Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum, a woman under the username u/protectiveoldersiss shared her story to the "AITA" community to get their opinions to see if she was in the wrong. The viral post has 6,000 upvotes and 700 comments.

The Redditor began her situation by explaining that her younger 16-year-old sister has a job as a camp counselor in the summertime. She works from 8:00 to 4:00 due to their state's law of minors not being able to work longer than eight hours.

Due to parents picking up their kids after 4:00, the original poster's (OP) sister has to stay until all the campers are gone, per her boss. So, she typically does a nine-hour shift.

In order to get her full pay, she has been clocking in the times that she has been working. Her boss told her that she could only file for eight hours since that was the law. For two weeks, her sister has been working nine-hour shifts and was not getting paid for the extra hour.

Wage theft is when an employee is not paid the full amount to which they are entitled. In a report done by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in 2017, between the years 2015 and 2016, $2 billion was given to employees that reported unpaid wages.

parents daughter fighting over helping sister
The internet praised a woman for helping her sister report her work after they committed work theft. gpointstudio/iStock / Getty Images Plus

She wrote, "I was p**sed off when I heard about this, I told her they were stealing her pay and she could report it and get that paycheck. She wanted to. So we texted her boss asking her to explain when she was supposed to stop work. The boss acted mad at repeating herself but said in writing that it was when all the kids left. She asked if she could start putting 4:30 or 5 pm on her timesheets when she has to stay till then, like she has most days."

"Her boss said 'no, we've been over this already. Three times now. Your report needs to match your scheduled hours.' I was honestly surprised her boss admitted to all that but it gave me everything we needed. So we put together a report with all the evidence and sent it to the state department of labor. We wrote that the camp was both engaging in wage theft, and violating the law about a minor's max hours," she continued.

Due to the quick turnaround time, the Reddit user's sister was paid for the extra hours she worked. She also heard that the Department of Labor was looking into other workers' paychecks as well. Angry at what happened, the boss told the OP's mother what happened.

The Redditor's parents were angry with her for "putting the idea in her head" and wanted the OP's sister for learning responsibility with a job and put a small business at risk with the Department of Labor. The OP explained that she had a problem at her job as well, but her family wouldn't let her report it until she was 21.

"My dad is irate I 'sabotaged a parenting decision of theirs' to make my sister get a summer job and learn to work hard. I said she still has the job and her boss would have a hell of a time firing her this summer with the DOL up her a**, and that made my dad even angrier. He said I know that's not what he meant, and I was overstepping, I'm her older sister, not her parent," she concluded.

The OP received many messages from the followers of the subreddit, praising her for helping her sister.

"[Not the A**hole]. They aren't teaching her hard work and discipline, they're teaching her to smile and comply when she's getting abused and taken advantage of. Oh, and they're also teaching her that it's ok to lie to save a few bucks," u/Onequestion0110 wrote, receiving over 10,000 upvotes.

U/Giana2896 said, "[Not the A**hole]!! Good for you for sticking up for your sister. You're teaching her something valuable 'don't ever let somebody use you and your skills for their benefit.'"

"[Not the A**hole] They aren't teaching her to 'work hard.' They're teaching her to let a business force her to work beyond her scheduled hours and cheat her out of the money she worked for. They're teaching her to let people take advantage of her and treat her like s**t," u/DerpDevilDD explained.

"[Not the A**hole]: And frankly, with how fast the DOL moved, it's just more proof you did the right thing," u/downvotingprofile exclaimed.

U/ShouldahWouldah priased the OP, "[Not the A**hole]. Someone needs to teach your sister her rights and she's lucky to have you to do it. You've not only helped her, you've helped current and future employees. Good for you!"