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5 examples of potential wage theft 

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Wage And Hour Issues

Wage theft is very common. Some say that it is the most common and prolific form of theft in the United States. Workers lose more in wages than people lose through any other type of theft that occurs – including car theft.

Part of the reason for this is that there are many different ways that wage theft can occur. Some employees may lose wages in multiple ways, and the cumulative total can be significant.

The following may be wage theft

To see how this works, take a look at the following examples, although this is certainly not an exhaustive list:

  1. Managers and company owners who take tips from the employees who earned them, perhaps through a tip pool. 
  2. Paychecks that bounce and can never be cashed. 
  3. Overtime wages that are not paid correctly, such as failure to pay time-and-a-half for overtime. 
  4. Not being paid forms of income outside of a standard wage, such as commissions for sales. 
  5. Payments that are less than the allowable minimum wage.

In some cases, business owners may attempt to withhold wages intentionally. But many of these events just happen accidentally, perhaps because the owner doesn’t understand what is required of them. For example, if a business owner offers an employee comp time instead of overtime pay, but then just gives them one hour of paid time off for every hour of overtime worked – as opposed to one and a half hours – the worker is being underpaid. This is a form of wage theft, even though money isn’t changing hands at the time.

Finding a resolution

A situation like this can cause a dispute between an employee and an employer. It is important for all who are involved to understand exactly what legal steps they should take as they seek an appropriate resolution.