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What is Wage Theft? How to Tell if Your Employer Has Been Stealing From You

What is Wage Theft? How to Tell if Your Employer Has Been Stealing From You

Know the techniques some companies use to skim workers’ paychecks

With all the line items on a typical pay stub, it can be difficult to tell exactly how your compensation was calculated.

Few workers are familiar with the ins and outs of wage and hour law. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous employers use this to their advantage by skimming workers’ wages.

That’s a practice known as wage theft, and it can take many forms. But however it’s carried out, the effect is the same: employees go home with less money in their pockets.

How much less money? Researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia estimate that workers lose up to $32 million per year in Pennsylvania alone because of unfair pay practices.

So how can you tell if you’re being targeted for wage theft? Let’s take a look at some of the signs and symptoms.

Signs of unfair pay practices

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) offers protection from unlawful compensation practices. In addition, many states and even some municipalities provide additional protection.

Here are some things that may indicate that your employer is not compensating you in accordance with the law:

  • Your hourly compensation is doesn’t meet minimum wage levels set by federal or state laws
  • You’re a non-exempt employee, yet you aren’t paid overtime for hours worked over 40 in a given week
  • You’re a manager who is classified as exempt so you’re not eligible for overtime, even though your job duties are very similar to other workers who receive overtime
  • Your paystub has deductions for breaks of less than 20 minutes
  • Your pay is docked for work supplies
  • Your pay is docked for alleged theft or broken or missing equipment
  • You work off the clock either before or after your shift or during your uncompensated meal break
  • You aren’t paid for all the hours you work during a pay period
  • Your pay is delayed, withheld, or not delivered on a regular basis
  • You are officially an independent contractor, yet your job differs little from that of full-time employees

What you need to know

Facing off against your employer in a wage and hour dispute may seem daunting. However, remember that the law is on your side. The longer you remain silent, the more money your employer may be stealing from you.

Call or email us today to discuss your unique situation.

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