The idea of an employer withholding the money you earned from your paycheck may seem like something out of a movie, but it is more common than you think. Each year, millions of employees suffer from wage theft. Wage theft can occur in many different ways, including:
If an employee worked 50 hours in one week of a pay-period and 30 in the other, they would have 10 hours of overtime on their paycheck. An employer may decide to move the hours to create 40 hours of work each week and eliminate the overtime the employee worked.
According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, an employee who works over 40 hours in a week needs to receive 1.5 times their hourly rate. Employers may attempt to cut costs of overtime by reducing this rate of pay or even offering an alternative to overtime like gift certificates or an extra day off.
Paying below minimum wage
The law mandates that employers pay their employees a minimum amount for every hour they work. While the minimum wage rate can vary depending on the state and whether the job is a tipped position or not, but employers still cannot pay less than the law specifies.
If a customer runs out on a bill or an employee damages company property, the employer may try to deduct the cost of the loss from the employee’s income. Employers do not have the right in any capacity to take money from an employee’s paycheck.
Working off the clock
You deserve payment for all the work that you do for your employer. If your shift ended and your employer asks you to complete a task, they still need to pay you for the time you are working past the end of your shift.
Not paying for meetings or training
If a new tool requires employee training or your employer calls a meeting for a policy change, they need to pay you for the time you spend at those meetings or training. Regardless of whether you helped customers or even showed up in uniform, you still deserve your pay.
How do you react to a violation?
If you suspect that your employer is committing wage and hour violations, consult with an attorney right away. An employment law attorney can help you file a claim for any rights violations you may have experienced.