As an employee, you certainly know that wage theft is detrimental to you on numerous levels, and you hope that it never happens. However, you may also see reports making claims that wage theft is the biggest type of theft in the United States or a bigger issue than people realize.
This makes it seem like something serious that you should certainly be wary of. But how does it happen? What should you look for? Let’s look at a few potential examples.
Using comp time
One tactic that employers will sometimes use is to tell you to take comp time instead of overtime, but then they’ll give you the same amount of hours. For instance, if you worked two hours of overtime, you should’ve been paid time and a half, as if you had worked three hours. Unless your employer gives you all three hours off, you’re not being paid what you were owed, even if you get the two hours comped.
Using a tip pool
Another thing that employers will sometimes do is to use a tip pool but cut themselves into that pool. These polls can be executed properly and legally, but managers and business owners are not allowed to be part of them. Doing so takes wages away from the employees.
Taking too long to correct payroll errors
One thing that often happens is just that the business makes some sort of payroll error. Maybe you got paid for one week when you should’ve been paid for two weeks. Your boss may admit that the mistake was made, but then drag their feet about making it right. This means you’re even more inconvenienced as you spend extra time without the money that you are already owed for hours worked.
If any of this happens to you, it’s critical that you understand your legal rights.