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Wage theft is a very common violation of basic employee rights

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2023 | Employment Law |

Some workers receive pay on an hourly basis, which means that their household income directly relates to how many hours of work they perform in a given week. Other workers have more predictable income levels because they have a salary arrangement with their employer. Their pay is the same every week regardless of how many hours they work, in most cases.

Some salary workers and many hourly workers have to protect themselves from the very real possibility of employer wage theft. Organizations keen on reducing their operating costs will sometimes take steps that clearly violate the right of their employees. Wage theft is a common and unfair practice that deprives workers of over $3 billion in earned wages every year in the United States alone. These are some of the clearest warning signs of wage theft.

No-overtime policies

Companies can absolutely restrict the schedules of their workers so that employees never put in more than 40 hours in a single week. However, if they fail to take such preventative measures, they have an obligation to pay their workers at least 150% of their standard hourly wage for any hours worked beyond the first 40. Refusing to pay for work performed by an employee simply because of a company policy is a common form of wage theft.

Paychecks that don’t line up with schedules

Companies will sometimes adjust the timeclock records of individual employees to reduce how much they receive in their paychecks. Someone may delete a few hours of work to push an employee under the overtime threshold or consistently round a worker’s time down to delete a small amount of pay from every shift. If workers notice signs that there may have been changes made to their timeclock records, they could potentially have grounds to bring a wage claim against their employers.

Policies that require uncompensated work

Does an employer require that a worker continue providing social media support over the weekend when they are not at work? Do employees regularly need to complete specific job tasks before they can clock in for the shift? Requiring that workers routinely perform job responsibilities without compensation is as much a violation of their wage rights as altering their timeclock records to reduce their billable hours.

Filing a wage claim against a company that has refused to pay someone fairly is a way for a worker to stand up for their employment rights. Seeking legal guidance can allow workers who are interested in filing such claims to make informed decisions about their rights and options.