It is estimated that American workers are cheated out of at least $19 billion every year in overtime pay. It is believed that all together, anywhere from $40 billion to $60 billion total are lost each year when all kinds of wage theft are combined. The U.S. Department of Labor recovered a record figure of $304 million in wages owed to workers in 2018.
The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has helped more than 1.3 million workers who suffered wage theft during the last five years. The Wage and Hour Division reports that most employer do abide by the laws, and they have an intense outreach with educational programs that continue to educate employers while promoting compliance with employment laws.
If you have been the victim of wage theft, you are not alone. There are many ways that wage theft occurs, and you should keep a close watch on your paycheck to make sure you are being compensated for all your work. If you suspect wage theft, you should go through all your files and determine if you have been shorted any wages. You will need to gather up all your evidence and documentation so they can carefully be reviewed.
Evidence To Gather To Support Your Claim
You will need to gather all your evidence that shows you were shorted some of your pay. There are many kinds of documentation that you can use to support your case and to prove what happened. You will need to keep copies of all your pay stubs. This will let your wage theft attorney know how much you were paid and can be used to determine if you were subjected to unfair deductions or if you were not paid for all your hours worked.
To prove the hours that you worked, so they can be compared to the hours you were paid, you will need to have copies of timesheets or timecards. Digital timekeeping is now more common. Your wage theft lawyer will be able to get access these records, so they can be submitted as evidence for your claim. These records will show if you are earning minimum wage. They will also show if you have worked overtime. These records are going to be compared to your actual pay.
Copies of your employment documents, specifically your contract, will be reviewed. These documents, specifically the contract, will tell your wage theft attorney what kind of employee that you are classified as while on the job. This will determine if you are eligible for overtime pay and if you were being paid for all your time. Your claim can also benefit from statements from coworkers and witnesses who can corroborate your claim and confirm that you were working set hours, doing a set job, and not being compensated properly.
What If My Employer Is Changing My Hours?
In some cases, wage theft involves the employer changing the employee’s hours. They may delete some time so it will look like the employee didn’t work as much as they did. Most employers use an electronic tracking system to keep track of the hours worked. In this situation, there are digital records of all the hours worked. There will also be records of all manual changes to the employees work record.
As an example, if your employer took five hours of your work record, that can be determined. An attorney will have your digital work records reviewed and check for such manual changes. This can be very helpful to your wage theft claim and can show that you were not treated fairly.
Working With A Wage Theft Attorney
If you have been the victim of wage theft, it may seem to you that your employer has all the leverage. However, that isn’t true. Don’t let your employer take advantage of you or push you around. You can fight back with an employment law attorney. With the help of an employment law attorney, you are much more likely to recover all your lost wages.
When you have a wage theft lawyer representing you, you can rest assured that your claim will be filed in a timely manner, all your evidence and documentation will be properly gathered, and your claim will be on the right track. When you hire a lawyer, you will not have to pay anything out of pocket. Wage theft attorneys work on a contingency basis, and when they win your claim your employer will pay their fees. Schedule your case review today.