Are you the victim of wage theft?
Wage theft is a phrase used to describe the circumstance when an employer does not pay an employee all wages due. When you work, you are owed wages in exchange for your time or work product. If your employer does not pay you everything that you are owed, your employer is stealing from you, or, you are a victim of wage theft. Wage theft from employers is present in a variety of circumstances, including when:
- Your employer expects you to work off-the-clock.
- Your employer refuses to pay you for time worked over eight hours in a day, or over 40 hours in a week.
- Your employer changes your commission agreement or terminates you to avoid paying you commissions or bonuses.
- Your employer forces you to work through meal or rest breaks without giving you an extra hour of pay.
- Your employer does not give you a retroactive overtime payment to go with your non-discretionary bonus.
- Your employer calls you an independent contractor or a salaried worker to avoid paying you minimum wages or overtime.
- Your employer forces you to share tips with supervisors or managers.
- Your employer makes improper deductions from your paycheck.
- Has a "use it or lose it" vacation policy, or has an unreasonable vacation accrual cap.
- Does not pay overtime to "piece rate" employees.
- Does not pay overtime wages during training.
There are many other ways that an employer may be stealing wages from employees or otherwise violating the labor laws. Sometimes the employer is not purposefully stealing from employees. For example, they may be new to California and unaware of the extensive protections California law has for its employees. Many times, however, employers are taking advantage of their employees so that they can have higher profits and put more money into the hands of the shareholders or people at the upper levels of the company. This is not fair, and the California Labor Code was designed to prevent or remedy many of these abuses. If you suspect you have been mistreated by your employer, have experienced any of the above problems, or otherwise have had wages stolen from you, you should contact an experienced wage and hour attorney who can provide advice to you about your rights.