Many people are unaware that they are the victim of wage theft, yet it happens all over the United States, every day. Wage theft is what happens when your employer doesn’t pay you the money you are legally owed for your job.
The odd mistake is bound to happen, but if it happens repeatedly, or you have addressed the issue and it is not fixed, then your employer is stealing from you. Here are a few things you can watch out for.
4 Red Flags You May Be a Victim of Wage Theft
Unfortunately, most employers do not have your best interests at heart. Employers are primarily interested in making money, and they are not above stealing from the people who work for them.
Not paying overtime or not paying enough for the overtime people work is a popular form of wage theft. Your employer may ask you to take work home, stay a few minutes later, or pick something after work without paying you for this time.
Any time over the regular 40 hours you work per week is considered overtime. Your employer is likely stealing overtime pay from you if your employer is paying the same wage and not time and a half or trying to give you something in lieu of time worked like time off.
“Normal” deductions from your pay like health insurance and tax are legal. But, many wage deductions are illegal, especially if you have not agreed to the deductions in writing and the deductions do not benefit you. For example, illegal wage deductions can include charging you for uniforms, parking, to be bonded, ID, breaks and meal periods you work through, and appraisal fees.
Illegal deductions may also include other items that are meant to be a penalty for something that you did or didn’t do such as cash register shortage or breakage of inventory. Unexplained wage deductions happen a lot so make sure you understand all the deductions on your pay stub.
Working off the Clock
Asking you to come in for your day off, stay after work to help out, or any extra work that is not recorded is illegal. You are legally entitled to pay including overtime for all hours you work.
Employers must pay you for working through your break or meal period, coming in early, or helping out for an event that is not on your scheduled time. You should be clocked into the employer’s timekeeping system and thus paid for all time you work. Otherwise, it is illegal for the employer to work you without pay.
Another way employers commit wage theft is by not paying you all wages due. For example, your employer is committing wage theft by not paying you all wages you have earned, like bonuses, overtime, and paid breaks and meal periods.
Employers also can’t take money from you if you make tips, or if you are entitled to paid leave for bereavement, sick time, caring for family, holidays, and even time if you need to perform jury duty.
Other examples of employer wage theft via illegal pay withholding include when the employer does not pay you on time, doesn’t pay you your final wages, and if the employer deducts your pay for something that has nothing to do with you. You should not let your employer get away with this wage theft.
Wage theft is an ongoing problem. If you are concerned about your wages or your employer, don’t just let them take the money you have worked for. Contact us at Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC today and talk to someone who can help you.
Don’t let your employer steal your money. Take action today to get the pay you have earned and deserve.