If you feel as though your wages are suspiciously low or your paycheck does not seem to match the hours you worked, you may be experiencing wage theft by your employer. Wage theft occurs when employers fail to pay employees their full wages as required by law.
There are some common signs that wage theft may be occurring.
You are not getting paid for all of your hours worked
Are you required to work off-the-clock, before or after your scheduled shift? Or are you asked to adjust your timecard to reduce reported hours? Both are illegal practices. Your employer must pay you for every single minute that they require you to work, with no exceptions.
You see unauthorized deductions from your pay
Your employer cannot legally deduct money from your paycheck unless authorized for taxes, insurance premiums or other reasons as mandated by law. Deductions for cash register shortages, uniforms or breakages are illegal.
Your employer misclassified your status
Classification as an employee or an independent contractor requires careful consideration of each individual’s role and responsibilities. Your employer might declare you an independent contractor to avoid paying you overtime and other benefits. Make sure you understand the determinations and hold your employer accountable for your status.
According to research in 2020, as many as 30% of employers misclassify at least some or their workers. If you see any of these wage theft red flags, document your hours and pay stubs and speak to an expert to understand your rights. You deserve fair pay for your hard work.