Because money is what allows most people to live their lives and meet daily needs, it is important that California residents receive proper compensation for the services they carry out. You may not have the most glamorous job, but you likely still rely on the paycheck you receive to provide for yourself and, possibly, your family.
When something seems off about your paycheck or you end up working off the clock, you may not receive the compensation you deserve. In some cases, a payroll error may result in a paycheck coming late or being a few dollars short, but in other instances, an employer may purposefully pay you incorrectly, and that action constitutes wage theft.
You are not alone
If you believe that your employer has committed wage theft, you are not alone. In fact, experts estimate that approximately $50 billion in wages are stolen from workers every year. You may feel shocked at this amount, but still, the issue continues to plague numerous people. Though you are not alone in this type of mistreatment, you may have to rely on yourself to take action to address the wrongdoing. You have rights under federal law that entitle you to fair wages, and you may need to enforce those rights.
Recognizing wage theft
You may not want to start any issues at your place of employment, especially if you are not certain that your employer has committed wage theft. You may want to start by understanding the different ways wage theft can occur. Some examples include the following:
- Not paying minimum wage
- Not paying as agreed or not paying at all
- Requiring workers to work off the clock, resulting in unrecorded hours worked
- Not paying time-and-a-half for overtime hours
- Making illegal deductions from worker paychecks
Once you understand how wage theft occurs, you may have a better ability to determine whether it is happening to you.
Though getting started on addressing wage theft issues may need to start with you, you do not have to try to navigate the entire process on your own. If you have questions about how wage theft occurs, whether your particular situation constitutes wage theft or if you have reason to take legal action, you may want to speak with an employment law attorney. Having legal support could allow you to better understand your specific situation and available options.