There are dozens of state and federal statutes that establish specific legal obligations for employers. They need to adhere to federal safety standards and carry workers’ compensation insurance that complies with state guidelines.
One of their most basic obligations will be the requirement for them to pay you for the work that you perform. Unfortunately, wage theft is a common issue, and workers lose out on the pay that they deserve because of sneaky and illegal practices by their employers.
What are some of the ways that companies unfairly deny workers their wages?
They Improperly Enforce a No-Overtime Policy
Overtime wages cost much more than standard wages, and businesses often prefer to avoid those expenses. Companies can both demand that workers show up for overtime shifts and insist that overtime requires managerial or corporate approval.
If the company has a no-overtime policy, it is incumbent upon management to ensure that they do not schedule someone for more than 40 hours in a given pay period. Companies can restrict how long someone works, but they cannot deny compensation for hours already worked regardless of their internal policies.
They Alter Timeclock Records
How much hourly workers make is a reflection of how many hours they work. Companies sometimes make adjustments to digital timeclock records assuming that they will never get caught.
A manager or business owner might remove a few minutes from the beginning and end of each shift, slightly reducing how much a worker receives in each check. When spread out across multiple workers and many months, those tiny acts of wage theft can add up to significant losses.
They Demand Work Off the Clock
Perhaps your boss expects you to stay active on social media or continue responding to client emails all weekend. Maybe it is company policy that you show up 15 minutes early for every shift to do prep work but the only clock in when that work is complete. Employers should never demand that you do your work without compensation, especially not on a daily basis.
If your employer has violated your wage rights, they have likely done the same to other people at your place of employment. Pursuing a wage claim can both get you the pay you deserve but did not receive and force the company to change its practices.