If an organization, manager, or employer can get away with not paying people what they are worth, many will do so. Not all will break the law, but one problem is that many employees do not know the wage laws or violations which are difficult and confusing.
This makes it difficult for employees, as many employers take advantage of employees when it comes to compensation. Some employees are owed thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars.
Unpaid wage money for employees comes in many forms, many that some employees know nothing about, or are not comfortable bringing up. This is wrong and, in most cases, illegal.
Money Violations You Need to Know
Your regular workday, breaks, and overtime is all part of your compensation. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage laws are there to protect employees and set standards for making sure employees are protected and fully compensated. They have four main components. minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping practices, and other wage provisions.
The main areas where employers commit wage theft by not paying employees their hard-earned wages fall into a few categories.
Paying Less Than Minimum Wage
The FLSA provides a federal minimum wage that generally applies to all employees. Many states and/or cities have enacted minimum wages which are higher than the FLSA federal minimum wage. You may have seen in the news in which President Biden has proposed raising the federal FLSA minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $15.00 per hour.
Despite these federal and state minimum wages, employers often pay employees less than minimum wage. This violates the law. Not only is the employee not getting their fair, legal wage, but the employer is essentially pocketing that unpaid wage money.
Illegal deductions from employee paychecks are also common. These vary based upon the employer and often employees do not challenge these deductions because employers try to hide thm.
Examples of illegal deductions can include: (1) automatic deductions for meal periods and/or breaks that employees do not actually receive, (2) expenses which are the employer’s costs of doing business such as the cost of pulling credit reports, unreimbursed cell phone expenses for business calls, unpaid business mileage, and other like items, (3) costs of missing merchandise, cash shortages, and other like items which are not the employee’s fault, and (4) deductions for work-related uniforms and cleaning where the employee has not signed a written agreement which allows such deductions.
Employees should question any deduction outside of regular deductions for income taxes, insurance, and 401(k) and other savings plans. Many deductions outside of these standard deductions are illegal.
Unpaid overtime causes difficulty and confusion for many employees. Any hours you work outside of your regular shift is legally overtime once you work over forty hours per week. Your employer must pay you overtime for these hours. If you believe your employer is not paying you all your overtime pay, you should record all of the hours you work so that you can better establish that your employer is illegally not paying you for all of your work hours.
Get Legal Advice
You should obtain legal advice from an employment attorney if you are in doubt or feel you are owed money. You can always call the legal employment attorneys at Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC for all for a thorough review of how your employer is paying you. Don’t let your employer steal your pay by breaking wage laws. You worked hard, and you deserve to be paid for all hours you work at the legally mandated hourly or overtime pay rate.