By Jason Bartles
Mancan Inc., a temporary worker staffing agency based in Wheeling, West Virginia, has withheld some workers’ wages up to two months at a time, in certain cases completely refusing to pay for hours worked.
When workers dispute the discrepancies, the company typically attempts to blame the theft on clerical error, but their standard practice when workers report missing wages is to make the worker wait several weeks for the issue to be fixed. Mancan distributes wages using cash cards, and a card malfunction is one of the company’s usual scapegoats.
The company told one worker that he had to wait several days for his cash card to work, and if it still didn’t work the company would need another week to write him a check. Another worker told Tribune that in addition to stealing his wages, the company lied to Workforce West Virginia (the state unemployment office), falsely accusing him of voluntarily quitting in order to deny his unemployment claim.
Human resource records obtained by Tribune reveal that Mancan misleads workers about what certain jobs are worth, paying them lower rates compared to positions directly advertised by the employer. Oglebay, a local park and resort, lists housekeeping positions online at $11/hour, while Mancan refers temps for $10/hour. Zeigenfelder Company, a Wheeling-based popsicle factory, has a similar wage gap between temp workers and permanent hires.
Former temps at Oglebay reported that their coworkers frequently complained about Mancan’s thievery on the job site. Mancan’s practices are so consistent that it’s common for Wheeling locals to know someone affected by it. One community member told Tribune, “Yeah my uncle worked for them, and they stole his wages.”
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