A paycheck is one of the main reasons most people report to work every day. In fact, most people rely on their wages to put a roof over their heads and bread on their tables. As such, it makes perfect sense that you earn fair pay for your labor.
However, it is not uncommon for some employers to wrongfully withhold employee wages. This behavior is known as wage theft, and it can be extremely flagrant. Be sure to look out for the following warning signs:
Your employer’s math doesn’t seem to add up
Sometimes, an employer can deliberately provide confusing explanations to avoid paying overtime. For instance, an employer may claim that you are not entitled to overtime because you are not meeting your work targets. Or, an employer who pays by the day may claim that total weekly work hours do not apply to your situation.
However, federal law requires that overtime is calculated based on the number of hours worked.
You’re classified as a contractor but your employer exerts all the control
It is not uncommon for an employer to classify an employee as a contractor to avoid paying certain benefits and applicable taxes. If your employer is treating you like an employee and controls what you do and how you do it, but you’re labeled an independent contractor, it’s time to ask questions.
Your pay is subject to seemingly arbitrary deductions
When an employer is constantly taking things out of your pay to cover “required” safety gear or supposedly damaged or wasted products – or other, random deductions – you may be the victim of wage theft.
Employers short-change their employees in a number of ways. Find out how you can protect your rights and interests if you suspect that your employer is stealing from you.