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5 examples of wage theft

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2023 | Wage & Hour Laws |

Businesses are responsible for paying their employees for the work they do. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees have protection against unfair pay tactics. In short, employees are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay. 

When a business doesn’t pay its employees, then their employees are victims of wage theft. Employees may be victims of wage theft in many ways. Here’s what you should know:

1. Minimum wage violation

As mentioned above, employees are entitled to minimum wage. Minimum wage is the lowest wage that an employer may pay their employees. In Florida, the minimum wage that an employee is entitled to is $12 per hour. Minimum wage increases every year at a set interval. Anything less than $12 per hour would be wage theft. 

2. No overtime pay

If an employee works more than 40 hours a week, then they are entitled to overtime pay. The rate at which overtime pay is calculated is one and a half of an employee’s regular hourly wage. An employee who works over their minimum hour and isn’t paid overtime may be a victim of wage theft.

3. Off-the-clock work

An employer may ask their employees to work off the clock. This may be a tactic businesses use to avoid paying their workers overtime pay.

4. Misclassification

Another tactic businesses may use to avoid paying overtime work is by misclassifying employees. An employee who is nonexempt is entitled to overtime pay. An employee who is classified as exempt or as a contractor may not receive overtime pay and other benefits under the FLSA.

5. Deductions 

Some employees are required to wear uniforms or use company equipment. Businesses may attempt to charge employees for their uniforms or equipment. This may be done by deducting pay from employees. Attempting to do this may be considered wage theft.

Employees who believe they are victims of wage theft may need to learn about their legal rights.