Home Depot Employees Are Broke, Sick, and Disappointed (2022)

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

As a supplement to Home Depot billionaire Ken Langone’s new book “I Love Capitalism!”, we are publishing emails from Home Depot employees discussing what it is like to work in the company that made Ken Langone rich. They seem less than thrilled.

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We have received hundreds of emails from Home Depot employees across the nation since last week. We ran our first installment yesterday.

From a longtime Home Depot employee in California, who worked through the wildfires of 2017

Of course I jumped-in to pass-out smoke masks, ash sifters, sell generators, flashlights and gave a lot of hugs to our customers. Rhonert Park’s store manager was kind enough to authorize me to work as many hours as I wanted, as long as I did not go over-time. You see, my mother and I were evacuated from our home at the time and he understood my need to help our community and stay distracted, not knowing if we were going to have a home to return to or not. We did, by the way. Fast forward two months.

In Janurary, I made the mistake of incorrectly thinking I had a day off when I did not and did not call in. So, I did not know that until I came in the next day and was given a one and only final warning, which I thought I understood. What I apparently did not understand was that when I called in to let my manager know I became sick over-night six weeks later, that I would be let go, due to “not enough sick” time to cover my illness. Even this, I was not told for another two weeks and “then” I was let go after my shift. So, that is the “Hell” part of Home Depot for me.

This was a “full-filling job” in which I loved the physicality, fast-pace, and most of all pleasing my customers. As far as “respect” goes....half of the time... I was so shocked about my termination that I actually went back to my store to have my HR person try to explain it too me. Even with that, I still could not/do not get it. To the point that two days later I even called the main HR office in Georgia. How can I, an awesome employee, lose my position for not having enough sick time? It was unavoidable. I still do not get it.

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More on sick time

I have been working at home depot for 9 months now. I make $11 an hour. On an average day I walk approximately 15 miles while I work. I was told when I was hired at part time, if I worked hard I would earn a full time position. So far that hasn’t happened and I work very hard every day. Because I am only part time ( I work 35-38 hours a week) I only earn 2 hours sick time a month. No vacation time. I realize that $11 is much more than many Home Depot employees make around the country, but I only clear $1000 a month. It is very hard to live on one thousand dollars a month. I have been told that Home Depot doesn’t hire full time. If a full time employee leaves they hire 2 part time people to fill that position. After I was sick with the flu, since I was out 7 days I had to go on food stamps in order to buy food that month. Had I had Health Insurance I would have been able to go to the Dr. and shortened the flu to a few days, but I wasn’t able to do so. I was recently “Coached” about my absences and told that I couldn’t be absent for the next 6 months or I will be in jeopardy of losing my job.

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Home Depot Employees Are Broke, Sick, and Disappointed (3)

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Staffing issues

Up until last September, I was a supervisor at Home Depot. It was one of the most stressful experiences of my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the people I worked with, including some management. As far as capitalism goes, it was no secret that if the store was over the hours it was allowed to use for the half, people were given the option to leave early. Why, do you ask? Why would people be given the opportunity to leave early and make the lives of those who stayed that much harder and making the customers experience worse?

Big Bonuses. Not to the frontline associates or supervisors (we get a small to moderate bonus based on sales vs. plan), but to management and above. It was no secret. We all knew it. If we had a call-out in our respective departments, we weren’t allowed to call in other associates to fill in the gaps and departments sometimes had no associates for HOURS!

I personally did not give a F*** and called in associates until I got called out on it (which I rarely did) because running one of the biggest departments in the store (Hardware), I refused to leave the associates that were there to have to deal with the madness short-handed.

I encourage you to go to a home depot in a big market towards the end of each fiscal half and notice the amount of coverage the store will have.

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I ended up quitting the job, after I was written up by the same assistant manager for leaving after my shift each day after my area (lumber) was 100% cleaned up. The assistant manager wanted the employees that got their areas cleaned up at the end of the night 1st to help others clean up their areas before they would let us go home. I had an agreement with the main store manager when I was hired that I needed to leave within 30 min after the store closed night and there wasn’t a problem for the 1st year. Once this new assistant store manager started, he wanted to change that. He would lock everyone in the store and not allow anyone to leave until the store was 100% cleaned up. We already had to get ‘signed off’ in our areas before we could leave but now we were being held captive.

I threatened to go out the emergency door which sets off the fire alarm and dispatches the fire department if this assistant manager did not release me by 10:30pm when my area was cleaned up.

After talking to other former employees, and hearing similar stories, I am amazed anyone stays working there.

Paid in respect

I worked at Home Depot part time for about three years from 2010 to 2013. It was a breath of fresh air compared to working for ExxonMobil in terms of how I was treated as an employee... Of course, as an electrician at Exxon I made about $34 an hour back then and $13 per hr as an associate in the Electrical Department at Home Depot. Wages and benefits were obviously better at Exxon, but the treatment I received as an employee in terms of respect and feeling appreciated was by FAR better at Home Depot. I really loved working there ( my Exxon co workers used to tease me calling it my “happy place”) but eventually the low pay and always working weekends took its toll... I always look fondly back to my days at Home Depot however the pay does suck and it’s beyond me how people make it on the low wages paid by retailers in general.

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From a cashier

My real plight with my job is the metrics. A.K.A. How many poor souls have been financially ruined by that 21.97% APR credit card I signed them up for because corporate told me to? How many of those people also took the survey for the chance at a $5,000 Home Depot gift card they will never have a chance in hell of winning? How many of them gave a rat’s arse enough to say a good thing about me? How many items am I painstakingly scanning one of, over and over, because the customer only got 9, and not 10? How fast are these customers checking out with me? And if I slip on one of those, or, god forbid, I have a bad day and don’t smile at someone and say I’m doing wonderful, I could wind up closely under supervision by my department head; who begs people to sign up for credit on her hands and knees and suggests we all do the same...

I feel, with my company, they do a lot of anti-union brainwashing. We don’t have the right to assemble or seek a union. We have some health benefits- even as part-timers, but nothing that will help you escape from the crippling back pain you will encounter for standing perfectly still and upright for hours on end on solid concrete warehouse floors.

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Overworked managers

I have worked for Home Depot for 10 years now and have been a salaried assist manager for 8 of those 10 years. Over my time with Home Depot I have seen the company go through many changes... take Obama care, Home Depot had to change its business model to accommodate for this we are at a 60/40 split. 60% part-timers and 40% full time. As a salaried manager it’s extremely challenging to persuade that 60% to perform and care about their job, not to mention all of the red tape that’s involved, and to include the pressure that is put on us to make them perform. As a salaried manager your hours are horrible. There are three primary shifts 5am-4pm, 8am-7pm or 1pm-12am. So work life balance is out of the question, and your shift changes each day. You are supposed to get 8 hours off between each shift but that doesn’t always happen. For instance we have a corporate walk coming up and the salary staff is on a mandatory 20 days straight to get ready for this walk. To say the least I am losing faith in this company because its direction now is all about the bottom dollar and not about it people. I am currently seeking employment elsewhere.

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Wages

The only real problem I had with Home Depot is the Low Low payscale.. If “The Man” is able to amass billions of dollars, then he is not paying his employees enough.. I am thankful that HD hired me, but a 54 year old man CANNOT support himself and his wife on $9.50 per hour working 40 hours (no over time allowed.. That’s $20,800 gross per year working the hardest physical job (I worked in the Garden Dept) I have ever worked.. More money for those people...

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A message to Ken Langone

Hello, I am currently employed at home depot and I do have to say it has more downs than it has ups. I’ve been working there the past few years as a part timer just so i can get through college. Don’t get me wrong the scheduling is great but the pay sucks and the “success sharing” is a complete joke. Home depot is somewhere I can never imagine working long term or making a career out of. They make the full timers life hell and i honestly do feel sorry for them, because I have met some great people with my time at home depot. I can tell you a lot of home depot employees do not share this man’s optimism towards capitalism and they should definitely be compensated a lot better. It makes absolutely no sense for a man to say what he says when he never even worked an hour in the stores of a company he profited off of.

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Values vs. reality

I’ve worked for HD for a little over 9 years now. I started working for HD right at the economic down turn when I lost my Job working for Dish Network. I had recently been separated from the military and my “Highly valued and much sought after skills” had yet to land me the high paying job that they try to sell all the soldiers on. Grass is always greener and all that. I felt a certain loyalty to Home Depot being one of the only company’s that returned my call for a interview and being a company that supported veterans also served to draw me in...

The sad truth behind HD is a grim and dark one. Like many companies HD has a set of core values. Principles that we are to use in dealing with customers each other and our leaders. We have guide lines and practices designed to help associates work toward the HD goal of being the number 1 customer service retail in the world. However these values are often overlooked or out right ignored. I’ve seen many toxic leaders come and go but mostly come and spread their toxicity like a cancer within the body of the company. In my market I see practices that don’t work constantly being implement at the expense of the every day associate. They are the ones that are generally performances out when things don’t work out. New leaders are not given the chance to grow and learn before being tossed into the deep end of the business. Growth with the company is treated as something that is obtainable through hard work and dedication. The truth is it’s all about who you fake it to and actual performance doesn’t matter... Our pay band is a joke compared to other retailers and does not keep in line with the actual work I’m required to do. Nor does HD work in the community as they claim to. I also don’t think of HD as a particular safe company to work for...

HD as a whole and especially my location talks constantly about how well we’re doing both as a store and as a company. I know that I am only a small slice of HD. One small market in one part of a much larger whole. I may work in one store but I routinely visit dozens of stores in the area. With as good as we claim to be...we could be so much better if we just took care of our associates and actually do the things we claim to value.

Thanks to all of the HD workers who have written in. We will run more excerpts of your emails in days to come.

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FAQs

How many times can you call in at Home Depot? ›

Home Depot will enable you to call even without having accrued hours in the 'treasury' 3 times before engaging, implying that the corporation will accept 3 instances before acting. Please keep in mind that if you ring in for multiple days without accruing hours, Home Depot may grant one occurrence.

How many occurrences can you get Home Depot? ›

What Are Home Depot Occurrences? Employees at Home Depot face a disciplinary procedure that includes incidents. Inappropriate absences or tardiness at Home Depot will result in an occurrence for each employee. In-Home Depot's HR department, you can only have three incidents before you're referred for further action.

Can I get rehired after being fired at Home Depot? ›

Yes you have to wait 6 months. This really depends on what you get fired for. Attendance for example you can be re hired after a cool down period.

How often do you get sick time at Home Depot? ›

You get 5 days sick time. You earn or accrue sick days according to the number of days that you work unless you are a full time employee.

Can I get fired for calling in sick too often? ›

You cannot fire an employee for being sick. But most employers have an attendance policy and instead would document unexcused absences over a period of time, and eventually fire them for excessive absenteeism, after a series of warnings.

How many call outs are acceptable? ›

Depends on the amount of hours you worked your previous year. You can call out up to 6 times before you are given your formal warning. If you do not call out often, you can build up your sick hours.

Does Home Depot have a point system? ›

Pro Xtra is The Home Depot loyalty program built for Pros. Pro Xtra members save time, save money and get rewarded through members-only benefits and business tools. With Volume Pricing, members can save on their next big projects at the Pro Desk.

Who is better to work for Home Depot or Lowes? ›

Lowe's Home Improvement is most highly rated for Compensation and benefits and The Home Depot is most highly rated for Culture.
...
Overall Rating.
Overall Rating3.53.7
Work/life balance3.33.5
Compensation and benefits3.43.5
Job security and advancement3.13.3
Management3.03.3
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How long are breaks at Home Depot? ›

California requires that after five hours of work, an employee must be offered a 30-minute meal period, though it can be voluntarily waived, said Michael J.

Can you date a coworker at Home Depot? ›

Home Depot generally advises against dating between employees which are in the same position of power. This includes vendors, suppliers, contractors, store associates, and staff that are in direct contact with each other.

Does Home Depot sick time expire? ›

Both the FFCRA emergency paid sick leave and the 2020 California Supplemental Paid Sick Leave laws expired on December 31, 2020. The new 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave law allows covered employees to take up to an additional 80 hours of COVID-19 related sick leave.

How do you call in sick at Home Depot? ›

According to Home Depot's call-in-sick policy, you need to get in touch with your store as soon as you realize that you won't be able to come in due to illness. You can get paid sick leave if you've accrued some from all the hours you've worked.

How long is Home Depot probation period? ›

I was hired in as a seasonal employee, Home Depot I was 120 day probation period before they tell you whether or not you will be kept as part time.

What to do with an employee who is always sick? ›

5 Tips To Deal With A Regularly Absent Employee
  • Have a clear sick leave policy and communicate it. ...
  • Speak with your employee in a one on one setting. ...
  • Offer perfect attendance bonuses. ...
  • Understand the laws around unfair dismissal. ...
  • Monitor staff leave.
Jan 22, 2018

What is excessive calling in sick? ›

“Excessive” absenteeism is a term I use to describe a particular employee's attendance record if he or she has been absent way more than the typical employee and doesn't have valid reasons for the absences.

How can employees stop abusing sick time? ›

Send a memo to all your employees to remind them about the company's policy on sick leave and absenteeism. Advise your staff about reasonable sick time use and the maximum number of days allowed per year. Include information about the penalties employees can expect if they continue to misuse sick time.

How often does the average person miss work? ›

Men aged 18-24 years missed 2.1 days of work, aged 25-44 years missed 3.7 days, and aged 45-64 years missed 4.5 days. Women aged 18-24 years missed 2.6 days of work, aged 25-44 years missed 4.0 days, and aged 45-64 years missed 5.5 days.

How many days does the average person call in sick? ›

On average, employees took 10 days off because they were sick or injured and an additional 4 to care for family members. The federal agency's analysis also found that: Workers ages 55 to 64 took an average of 18 days off of work, compared with 10 days for workers ages 16 to 24.

What is the difference between Home Depot and Home Depot Pro? ›

Both offer unique opportunities to serve your business. Home Depot Pro Specialty Trades (formerly Barnett) is a wholesale distributor with expertise in supply-chain management and pro-grade products. Home Depot Pro Xtra offers exclusive rebates on purchases from the 2,200+ brick-and-mortar retail stores across the US.

What does met stand for Home Depot? ›

Merchandising Execution Team (MET) Supervisors lead and influence a team of merchandising execution associates (MEAs) as they execute general service guidelines throughout all departments within a store.

What is Home Depot loyalty program? ›

The Home Depot's freshly revamped paint rewards program rewards high-spending customers with different levels of discounts. Pro Xtra members will now be placed into savings tiers based on the amount they spend on qualifying purchases of paint, stains, and primers in Home Depot stores.

Can you call in sick at Home Depot? ›

According to Home Depot's call-in-sick policy, you need to get in touch with your store as soon as you realize that you won't be able to come in due to illness. You can get paid sick leave if you've accrued some from all the hours you've worked.

Does Home Depot have a point system? ›

Pro Xtra is The Home Depot loyalty program built for Pros. Pro Xtra members save time, save money and get rewarded through members-only benefits and business tools. With Volume Pricing, members can save on their next big projects at the Pro Desk.

How long is Home Depot probation period? ›

I was hired in as a seasonal employee, Home Depot I was 120 day probation period before they tell you whether or not you will be kept as part time.

How do I call out Home Depot? ›

770-384-4646 (U.S.) 416-386-5847 (Canada) (81) 81-55-68-69 (Mexico)

How many call outs are acceptable? ›

Depends on the amount of hours you worked your previous year. You can call out up to 6 times before you are given your formal warning. If you do not call out often, you can build up your sick hours.

What does RLC stand for Home Depot? ›

Home Depot has RLC (Rapid Deployment Center) and SDC (Stocking Distribution Center) as a part of warehouse operations. Both RLC and SDC act as a flow for the products but do not store them. RLC sends the products to the vendors, and SDC sends the products to the stores.

What is an occurrence at work? ›

Occurrences. An occurrence is documented as an absence, tardy or missed time clock in/out. While an absence refers to a single failure to be at work, an occurrence may cover consecutive absent days when an employee is out for the same reason.

What is the difference between Home Depot and Home Depot Pro? ›

Both offer unique opportunities to serve your business. Home Depot Pro Specialty Trades (formerly Barnett) is a wholesale distributor with expertise in supply-chain management and pro-grade products. Home Depot Pro Xtra offers exclusive rebates on purchases from the 2,200+ brick-and-mortar retail stores across the US.

What does met stand for Home Depot? ›

Merchandising Execution Team (MET) Supervisors lead and influence a team of merchandising execution associates (MEAs) as they execute general service guidelines throughout all departments within a store.

Did Home Depot stop fuel rewards? ›

Any remaining Fuel Rewards can be redeemed until 1/31/2022. And, businesses with The Home Depot Commercial Account Credit Card are now eligible for a 2% Early Pay discount on invoices paid online within 20 days of the transaction date.

Do you get paid less during probation period? ›

No you do not get paid any less during your probation period.

How much vacation time do you get at Home Depot? ›

Home Depot's vacation policy is relatively generous, in that it allows workers 10 paid days off each year and 14 days of unpaid time off. Many other companies (such as Target) follow a standard 8-day vacation policy.

What does can you commit to your availability for at least 90 days upon hire mean? ›

What Is a 90-day Probation Period for New Hires? A 90-day probation period for new hires is a defined period of time during which a new employee receives added management and education to learn a new job.

How do I escalate an issue with Home Depot? ›

Home Depot
  1. Call Customer Care on 1-800-HOME-DEPOT or 1-800-466-3337.
  2. Email Customer Care on customercare@homedepot.com.
  3. Visit Customer Care Website.
  4. Tweet Home Depot Customer Care.
  5. Tweet Home Depot.
  6. Follow Home Depot.
  7. Follow Home Depot.
  8. Watch Home Depot.

How do I escalate a complaint to Home Depot? ›

The customer service number for Home Depot is 1-800-HOMEDEPOT (1-800-466-3337).
...
How To File a Complaint With Home Depot Customer Service.
How To Reach Home Depot Customer Service
Websitehttps://www.homedepot.com/c/customer_service
SMSText your problem to 38698
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What does MOD mean at Home Depot? ›

MOD - The Home Depot. Military Discount Program.

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