Many Americans are unaware of the many unfair pay practices that violate the law. If you don’t know your rights, it’s more difficult to know when you should speak to an employment attorney about pursuing a wage case. We want to show you the most common ways employers might withhold your wages unjustly because you need all the money you have earned because inflation continues to increase.
Common Pay Practices that Violate the Law
These are the unpaid wage violations we encounter most often.
- Asked/Forced to Work “Off the Clock”
Your employer has no right to ask you to work off the clock if you’re paid hourly or your salary non-exempt. Employers work employees off the clock to circumvent paying overtime wages and to reduce payroll expenses. Employers also cannot expect employees to do all of their preparation and cleanup work off the clock. “Off the clock” work means any time you are working and not clocked into the employer’s timekeeping system. This illegal work includes emails, phone calls, texts, and work performed on or off-site either before or after your scheduled shift when you are not clocked in.
- Unpaid Overtime Wages
Hourly workers must receive 1 ½ time their regular hourly pay rate for all the time they work beyond a normal work week (40 hours). Your overtime pay rate must legally include all bonuses, commissions, and shift differentials. Routinely check the math and figures on your pay stub.
- Illegal Deductions
When you review your paycheck, you should see some standard deductions like federal/state income taxes, FICA, health care, and other deductions. It should raise a red flag, however, if you see unusual deductions for supplies, uniforms, breaks, or appraisal fees. These deduction types are often illegal. And, many states require employees to sign a written deduction authorization before any such deductions can legally occur. You should contact an employment attorney if you believe you have suffered illegal deductions.
Other Serious Pay Violations
- Wage Discrimination
Employers can get into a lot of trouble if you can prove that they pay differently based on sex, color, religion, creed, disability/veteran status, or any other protected designation. Pay decisions based upon legally protected characteristics are illegal. You can recover money damages if your employer subjected you to such actions.
- Paying Less Than Minimum Wage
Believe it or not, this still happens frequently in the U.S. Employers must pay the greater the federal minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour or any higher applicable state minimum wage rate. Contact an employment attorney if you have questions about which minimum wage rate applies to the work you are performing.
- Independent Contractor Manipulation
There are other common tricks employers will use to get out of paying wages, health benefits, and unemployment pay. They may unlawfully choose to classify you as an independent contractor or temporary employee, which completely changes how you’re paid. There’s a place for hiring somebody as a 1099 independent worker, but they cannot do that and have control/supervision over your work and how you perform it. In a nutshell, it’s illegal to treat contractors like employees without paying them as employees.
Check out more information on these illegal pay practices by reading about these 4 red flags you may be a victim of wage theft. Once you know the typical traps and pitfalls, you can spot them early and demand a solution.
What You Can Do to Gain Restitution
Alas, employers won’t always settle with you or fix clerical errors. They either believe there weren’t unpaid wages, or that you won’t hold them accountable for their bad practices. At either rate, you should speak to Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC to investigate a wage claim against your employer.
Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC Fights Against Pay Practices that Violates the Law
You don’t want to make the mistake of assuming your case will be easy just because you know you’re right. Even in the best circumstances, your company will have its own attorneys, which means you must match that on your end. Fortunately, Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC has multiple decades of experience litigating unpaid wage cases, including unpaid overtime, illegal deductions, and more.
Contact Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC to find out how you can fight back against these pay practices that violate the law and rob you of hard-earned money.