According to a report from the Economic Policy Institute, low-wage workers in California lose $2 billion per year due to wage theft that has been committed by employers. In fact, the rideshare company Uber was forced to repay millions of dollars to its drivers after shorting their commission payments for several years. According to the lawsuit, Uber did not include driver taxes and fees into its calculations, which led to employees losing out on wages they are entitled to.
What Is Wage Theft?
Wage theft occurs when an employer either intentionally or unintentionally withholds money that is owed to an employee. Under The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), you have the right to receive fair payment for the labor you perform. If your employer withholds your wages, you can take legal action against them.
Common Forms of Wage Theft
The following are common ways employers commit wage theft:
- Withholding Overtime Pay: If you are an hourly employee and work more than 40 hours a week, your employer is legally required to pay you at least time-and-a-half for the overtime work you perform. Employers who fail to pay their workers for overtime can be sued for wage theft.
- Wage Garnishment: It is illegal for an employer to charge an employee for training materials or replacing equipment that is necessary to perform their job functions. Charging employees for items that make the workplace operate correctly can result in a wage theft lawsuit.
- “Off-The-Clock” Work: This is one of the most common forms of wage theft committed by employers. Any uncompensated job-related tasks your employer requires you to complete either before or after your shift is considered off-the-clock work.
- Job Misclassification: Some employers deliberately give employees managerial sounding titles so they can reclassify their employment status and avoid paying overtime wages. Employees who have been misclassified can sue their employer for unpaid overtime.
- Working Through Breaks: Employers must pay employees if they work through their designated break period. It is illegal for your employer to ask you to “volunteer” to work through your break.
- Paying Less Than Minimum Wage: If your employer pays you less than the state or federal minimum wage, you can file a claim for wage theft.
Hollister Employment Law Lawyer
Do you think your employer has withheld wages you are entitled to? If so, you should get in touch with our legal team to discuss your options. Our skilled attorney can review the facts of your case and give you the legal advice that you need to secure a fair case result. Let our legal professionals assist you today.