Employees have a lot of laws protecting them, and yet many do not recognize when their employer infringes on their rights. Wage and hour violations refer to when an employee’s rights related to these benefits. Are wage and hour violations a severe problem?
Employees lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars due to wage and hour violations each year. The first step in defending your hard-earned income is recognizing that a breach has happened. So, what do these violations look like?
Illegal paycheck deductions
While it is not unlawful for an employer to deduct funds from a paycheck for things like supplies, tools, or uniforms, the deductions cannot result in an amount that is less than minimum wage. If an employee makes minimum wage, their employer cannot deduct anything from their income. Employees that receive tipped income, like servers, can earn income lower than minimum wage.
Incorrect overtime pay
When an employee works more than 40 hours a week, the employer must pay the excess hours at “time-and-a-half,” or one-and-a-half times the value of their “regular rate.” If an employer does not pay overtime wages or an amount that does not correctly reflect the regular rate, they are committing a wage violation.
Not paying “off-the-clock” hours
It is not an uncommon scenario for an employer to ask an employee to conduct a task on their way out of work. This kind of work is still payable and needs to reflect on the employee’s income. Not paying for this kind of labor is a violation of an employee’s rights.
Paying below minimum wage
Despite the laws enforcing the minimum wage, many non-tipped income employees receive payment less than the minimum wage. If your employer claims to have a legal reason to pay you less than minimum wage, speak with an attorney to confirm if you are being underpaid.
Do not leave money on the table
If you believe that you are the victim of a wage and hour violation, protect your rights, and speak with an employment law attorney. These violations keep millions of dollars out of the pockets of people that deserve them. Identifying a violation can help you keep your money where it belongs, so make sure to check your income to verify its accuracy regularly.