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5 ways an employee can spot wage theft at work

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2022 | Employment Law - Employees

Even though numerous rules and regulations protect workers from wage theft, they still often feel mistreated when paychecks come around. Whether it is overtime unrecognized on a timesheet or the employer intentionally misclassifying a worker to cut costs, employees must seek the proper compensation.

While every industry and organization are unique, employers might still attempt to use underhanded tactics to take money from right under their workers’ noses. How is it possible for employers to steal from their employees?

Spotting wage theft

Wage theft is so common that employees can often spot obvious signs and clear evidence. Your employer may commit wage theft in a few ways:

  • Unpaid overtime: Your employer may not consider your extra work as overtime. Some employers will only pay a portion of overtime. This can be especially prevalent if job responsibilities demanded you work overtime hours, but your employer won’t pay for the extra income.
  • Withheld wages: Your employer may be fabricating violations to withhold your wages. This issue could escalate if you were fired and still unpaid. Additionally, you may have taken a mandatory break which caused your employer to withhold wages.
  • No reimbursement: Some employers ask their workers to pay for tools and uniforms upfront without reimbursing them for the purchases. Some employers may even dock their workers’ wages to pay for supplies.
  • Employee misclassification: Contract workers generally work on a different pay scale and often do not have access to employee benefits. Because of this, the employer might classify you as a contract employee, which would allow your employer to pay you less and strip you of your employee protection.
  • Miscalculated wages: The most obvious way to tell if your employer manipulates your wages is if your salary doesn’t add up to your work hours.

You have a right to fair wages. If you find that your paycheck isn’t adding up and your employer isn’t paying out, then it may be time to reach out for legal help when building a wage theft claim.

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