When you take a job with a large, successful company, you expect that they will follow all laws regarding how they treat their employees. However, some companies are so profitable and successful because they have found ways to manipulate or outright violate employment laws for financial gain.
Wage theft is an umbrella term that refers to employment practices that deny workers pay for the time that they work. Wage theft could involve asking you to come in before your shift starts without clocking in for those extra 15 minutes a day or changing timeclock records to reduce what a company pays you. It can also involve not paying overtime compensation or paying less than minimum wage.
Wage theft affects millions of workers
It is hard to know exactly how many hard-working Americans don’t receive the compensation they deserve for the work they perform. However, a review of data regarding just minimum wage violations paints a grim picture for hourly workers in the United States.
Researchers believe that wage theft reduces what workers earn across the United States by as much as $15 billion each year. Those wages workers should have received would both contribute to local economies and improve those workers’ quality of life.
The workers affected by these unethical practices can bring wage claims against their employers, possibly resulting in payment for the wages they should have received. Workers can gather evidence about how much they pay or how the company instructs them to work off the clock and use that information as the basis for a lawsuit. Pursuing a wage claim against your employer can compensate you and potentially prompt them to change their employment practices.