According to the Wage Justice Center, employers steal more than $50 billion from employees every year.
That total adds up to more than the annual cost for all burglaries, larcenies, motor vehicle thefts, and robberies across the country combined.
Wage theft is rampant, and it is done in many ways. According to an attorney with the Wage Authority Group, wage theft is often unnoticed by workers for many years.
Wage theft could be failing to pay employees for all hours worked, not paying overtime, and not paying workers according to state and federal laws.
Reporting wage theft isn’t easy, but it should be done. Reports indicate that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawsuit filings for wage theft increased by as much as 400 percent from 1996 to 2015.
While that doesn’t prove that wage theft is becoming more common, it does show that more people are pursuing legal action when they have been a victim of the illegal activity.
Laws are in place to protect workers from wage theft and mistreatment from their employer.
If you suspect that you are being shorted wages, or you are not being paid as you should, you should speak with an employment law attorney who will look into the matter and determine if you are being mistreated and if you are a victim of wage theft.
If you have been the victim of wage theft, you should take action and make sure you are fairly compensated for your losses.
You do have rights and there are state and federal laws protecting you. It is important for you to be attentive and always document the time that you have worked as well as what you were paid. You should make yourself aware of both state and federal employment laws.
You should be vigilant and take note of any wage theft that may occur. Usually, wage theft claims result in a monetary award to compensate for the wages that were stolen.
Sometimes remedies are non-monetary and may include personal time or additional vacation days that would be the equivalent of the monetary value of your lost earnings.
If you have been fired from your job, then the court may order that they rehire you. If you were demoted, they may be required to put you back into your original job role and pay rate.
There are many ways to pursue a claim to recover compensation for your damages suffered because of wage theft from your employer.
The Monetary Remedies
If you have been the victim of wage theft, you may be able to recover monetary damages. The Fair Labor Standards Act governs wages and hours in the workforce.
You could receive payment for your back wages and the employer could face fines. The fines could be as much as $10,000.
Your lawyer will know how to get your claim underway and where to file any complaints regarding the violations of your employer.
If you have been the victim of wage theft, then non-monetary remedies are also available. They may start investigating the company for other issues, terminate a supervisor or a manager, or if you as an employee victim have been fired you may be given back your job or rehired as a remedy or a solution to your claim.
The court could also order that the employer change some policies, specifically policies pertaining to wages and their payment. Your lawyer will be able to negotiate a fair resolution to your claim.
How an Employment Lawyer Could Help
If you have been a victim of wage theft from your employer, you should contact an employment law attorney who handles wage theft claims.
Employment law does vary from one state to another, so you want a lawyer who handles such cases in your state so you will be properly informed.
Your lawyer will review the details of your specific case and will gather supporting evidence and documentation.
Your lawyer will be able to determine the total of your damages and come up with the best way to proceed with a claim against your employer.
Some employment law attorneys work on a contingency basis, so be sure to talk to your attorney about when they expect payment for your case.
Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share the details of your case with an attorney who handles employment law matters in your state and who is experienced in wage theft claims.