Despite the challenge of earning a decent salary, employees expect to receive fair payment for the work they complete. However, many companies engage in wage theft by failing to pay their workers appropriately. This unethical practice can cause financial difficulties, making it challenging for employees to afford basic necessities such as food, rent, and medical expenses. Wage theft is not only an immoral issue but also illegal. Employers who steal wages from their employees violate the law and compromise their workers’ livelihoods. If you are a victim of such an act, contact a New York employment law attorney.
Common Wage Theft Schemes You Should Know to Protect Yourself:
One common form of wage theft is when companies fail to pay their employees for overtime work. By law, employees are entitled to receive one and a half times their regular salary for any additional hours worked. This compensation not only serves as a recognition of the employee’s time and effort but also incentivizes them to potentially work more overtime in the future. However, when employers withhold overtime pay, they are committing wage theft.
How to Identify Wage Theft in the Workplace:
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Employees are Entitled to Minimum Wage
Every employee is legally entitled to receive the minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Unfortunately, some firms may attempt to deceive new hires and withhold their wages.
Identifying Wage Theft in the Workplace:
If you discover that your employer is paying you less than the minimum wage, they are committing wage theft. There are a few common ways this can happen in the workplace:
- Requesting you to clock out before requesting that you stay on the job
- Deducting money from you for clocking out
- Asking you to perform unpaid labor over your lunch break
- Misclassification of Employees Can Result in Wage Theft
Another way in which companies commit wage theft is by misclassifying employees. Each employee falls under a specific classification that determines their pay scale and benefits. If you discover that your company has underpaid you or failed to pay minimum wage and overtime, it may be due to misclassification.
In the service industry, many workers depend on tips to supplement their income. However, some employers engage in wage theft by withholding tips or keeping a portion of them. To protect your rights as an employee, it is important to understand your legal options in cases of wage theft. By taking action, you can help ensure that you receive fair compensation for your time and labor, and hold employers accountable for any unlawful practices.