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Most Common Types of Wage Violations

Most people are completely unaware that wage violations take place all the time. Some are small, others are glaring, but they all add up to the same thing; wage theft.

It might seem like a few dollars here and there, but the truth is, these thefts add up to millions, if not billions of dollars every year. If you are not sure what constitutes a wage violation, here are the most common violations.

Most Common Types of Wage Violations

All too often, people are completely unaware of violations regarding their wages. If you feel you may be getting taken advantage of, here are just a few of the most common age violations.


Overtime means any time you work past your regular 40 hours a week. Too often, employers will ask people to work overtime and then not pay them. Or, employers don’t pay employees the legal amount of time and a half.

This also refers to paid time off you are offered in lieu of overtime pay. Your employer cannot offer you paid time off (commonly referred to as “comp time”) instead of paying your overtime unless you work for a public employer such as the government.

Minimum Wages

The minimum wage varies from state to state, but you are legally entitled to receive the minimum wage set forth in the state you work in. Paying people less than that is illegal.

One of the biggest violations occurs where people also earn tips. Some states may have a lower minimum wage for these employees, but employers cannot just decide to pay them less, or at all.


Asking people to work off the clock is another way employers get away without paying their employees what they are owed. These can be smaller bits of time here and there, but the unpaid time definitely adds up. Employers who require employees to work off the clock generally start with small requests and then require employees to work more time off the clock. This is all illegal.

This may be your boss asking you to finish work at home, do some errands on your day off, or asking you to stay and work after you have officially clocked out or before you clock in. Employers must pay employees for all time worked.

Vacation Pay

This is another area where employees lose money. If you are owed vacation time but don’t use it, you may lose it and the money. This rule will vary depending on in which state you work, Many states do not allow employees to forfeit earned vacation time.

Unpaid Time That is Compensable

If you are expected to reset your work area, attend a meeting between shifts, wear a uniform, or take inventory, these are all part of your workday and you need to be paid.

Illegal Deductions

If there are deductions on your pay stub that you don’t recognize, these deductions can also be a wage violation. Employers may try to charge you for all sorts of services, like laundry or locker rental that is simply a grab at your earned wages.

Small things like leaving the work area when you were asked to do so, taking a washroom break, or being charged for things that are included like parking or your uniform.

Meal Breaks

Working through your meal break without being paid, or getting deductions for taking a meal break may also be a wage violation. Again, different states have different pay rules for these items. Generally, employers must pay employees for all time worked.

Wage Violations

The sad truth is that employers get away with wage violations because they can. Too often, people don’t know their rights or are too scared to complain.

Contact Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC for more information if you believe your employer is not paying you for all your earned wages. You are valuable and deserve all your wages.