Wage and hour violations are common in the U.S. Research shows that wage theft accounts for more than three times as much economic loss yearly as other forms of theft combined. This is an alarming statistic.
These are three common ways in which wage theft may occur.
Not paying the minimum wage
The Florida minimum wage is $12 per hour. An employer that pays less than the current minimum wage commits a wage and hour violation.
Not paying altogether
An employer may fail to pay an employee for the hours they have worked. They may use tricks to cover this form of wage theft. They may withhold pay as a “punishment” for breaking a company’s policy or inform employees they will be paid later and keep postponing. Employers should pay employees for work they have done on time. Failing to do so may constitute a violation.
Employees have access to benefits, including health insurance, tax benefits, retirement savings and so on. Independent contractors are paid by the hour or by the job – they are not paid through a company’s payroll, which means they don’t receive employee benefits. Some employers misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying them benefits even though they treat them as employees by determining how and when they work and so on.
Another form of misclassification is classifying non-exempt employees as exempt. Non-exempt employees perform more technical and manual duties and are covered by Fair Labor Standards Act overtime regulations – they are entitled to overtime. Misclassifying a non-exempt employee as exempt to avoid paying overtime is a wage theft trick that some employees use.
If you believe your employer is not paying you fairly, consider getting legal guidance to protect your rights and to seek what you are rightfully owed.