Fighting Every Day To Protect Your Future

Is my boss stealing my wages?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Wage and Hour

This may seem like a silly question. After all, you are receiving a paycheck. But are you receiving the full amount you are entitled to?

Wage theft is very common but also very subtle. That’s why it’s vital to understand how wage theft occurs and how to stop it.

Common methods of wage theft

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects workers by setting minimum standards for most aspects of employment, including minimum wage and overtime pay. Many employers fail to comply with FLSA regulations. Here are some of the most prevalent forms of wage theft:

  1. Failure to pay minimum wage is one of the most straightforward forms of wage theft, thus robbing employees of maintaining a basic standard of living.
  2. The FLSA states that employees are entitled to overtime pay for hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek, typically one and a half times their regular rate. Employers commit wage theft when they fail to compensate for overtime hours worked.
  3. Another method of wage theft involves making unauthorized or illegal deductions from employees’ paychecks. This can include deductions for uniforms, tools, breakages or cash register shortages that reduce an employee’s earnings below the minimum wage.
  4. Employers may require or pressure employees to perform tasks without compensation before clocking in or after clocking out. This includes time spent setting up a workstation, cleaning or completing paperwork. All of these should be compensated for work time.
  5. In industries where tipping is customary, employers may engage in wage theft by claiming tips meant for employees or distributing them in a way that violates state or federal laws. This includes requiring tipped employees to share tips with non-tipped staff inappropriately.

While some people work because they love their job, most of us do it because we need a paycheck. Therefore, it’s crucial that you receive all the money you are owed. By failing to pay you the full amount you are owed, your employer is undermining the dignity of your time and labor. 

If you believe you are a victim of wage theft, it’s essential that you notify the appropriate authorities. Resources are available to assist you and ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.