US small-scale business owners are fantastic! .. except for the countless others that don’t.
From ignoring Covid rules to committing fraud, discrimination against employees, and underpaying them, US figures reveal a Rogues’ gallery of employees.
We all know that small-scale entrepreneurs are the heartbeat of our US economy. We have around thirty million small business owners, and we contribute more than half of the jobs in the United States. Everyone seems to be in love with us. Politicians court us. Big companies tip their hats at us. Every year, we honor our small-business community through Small Business Week, Small Business Saturday, National Entrepreneurship Month, and other celebrations celebrating small-scale workers and minority business owners.
We are so happy! But what do you think? While I’m a strong advocate and advocate for my fellow small-business fellows, I am also forced to acknowledge that not all small-business owners deserve this kind of applause. Some, in reality, aren’t worth even it at all.
There are restaurant owners – such as these located in California, Michigan, and Oregon, to mention just several – who have blatantly and irresponsibly flouted Local Covid laws and put patrons as well as their employees in danger of suffering due to something other than E coli that is present in their food. For instance, the dentist from Wisconsin damaged his clients’ teeth to enable them to file fake insurance statements (wow! ).
Let’s not forget about the seemingly endless number of entrepreneurs with small businesses, including the proprietors of a technology company as well as the owner of a bakery business in Massachusetts and the genius who managed an estate agency in Pennsylvania, and one of the serial fraudsters in Delaware as well as the brothers that ran numerous companies in California that have all defrauded Federal government officials by submitting false requests in the name of Covid relief funds, because it’s just not fair that the money is distributed to those who needed it isn’t it?
What about the company in Georgia, which was ordered to pay $250,000 following the dismissal of an employee with disabilities? Who pays this? or was the regional water service company in Minnesota instructed to pay $45,000 to one employee who was unjustly dismissed because of their skin color? Who else does this?
It turns out that a lot of business owners do this. There are other negative things, too.
If you’re skeptical, then take a look at the government’s figures. For instance, just one month ago, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published comprehensive breakdowns of more than 67,448 discrimination charges in the workplace claims that the agency was able to receive in the last fiscal year. The agency announced that it was able to secure $439.2m for people who have suffered discrimination within the private sector and public sector workplaces through voluntary and litigation settlements. Its Department of Labor recently reported thousands of cases in 2023 when businesses operating in fields that range from auto repair to landscaping services were underpaid or treated employees poorly.
It’s not just employees that are being scammed. Some entrepreneurs earn their living from being social media influencers but fool innocent users into offering free products in exchange for false assurances of being mentioned. Also, the scam freelancers working on the most well-known platforms online accept money in exchange for doing nothing. Also, the independent contractors like this one from Philadelphia that allegedly took payment for tasks like bathroom renovations or home repair in business in exchange for … spoilers: not performing the work. In the year 2000, the Federal Trade Commission received more than 2.8m complaints of fraud by consumers against companies ranging from misleading credit repair companies to people who call my mobile during the night.
What have I learned from this study? Although it is a source of irritation for me when small-scale businesses are accused of pursuing profits over their employees’ well-being or paying them too little, or defrauding their customers, I must admit that in certain instances … those who accuse them might have a point. It’s sad. But I can’t deny it.
Of course, most small-business owners are decent people with good businesses and care for their workers. However, there are many who, honestly, do not. If someone accuses the owner of a company of doing something that isn’t right, my instinctual reaction isn’t to instantly deny that person’s assertion. Perhaps there’s some truth in that tale.