If you work for an hourly wage and are considered a non-exempt employee, you are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state laws that apply to employers where you work and live. As an employee, you are entitled to fair pay. The FLSA requires that you be paid at least minimum wage, you get paid overtime for more than 40 hours worked per week, and that you be paid for all the time that you worked.
You should stay attentive and notice to make sure you are compensated fairly. Wage theft is very common, and billions of dollars of wages are stolen from workers across the country every year. There is a time limit for pursuing a claim for stolen wages, and unfortunately, many workers don’t realize they were victims until it is too late to pursue a claim and recover compensation for their damages.
By being proactive, you will notice any problems early on when they initiate, and you will be able to get your claim underway quickly, so you can ask to recover your lost earnings and other damages.
How A Custodian Could Suffer From Wage Theft
As an employee, you have a responsibility to make sure you are fairly compensated and that you receive all the pay you are entitled to receive.
There are many ways in which wage theft could happen to a custodian. As an example, you may not be paid minimum wage, you may be required to work through your breaks, you may not be paid for all the hours that you worked, or you may not be paid overtime wages that you earned.
You may have worked 40 hours last week, but you were only paid for 35. Your agreed hourly wage may be $10, but your employer may have only paid you $8.50.
You may have worked more than 40 hours last week, and you were not paid overtime. Instead, you were paid your regularly hourly wage for all the hours that you worked.
You were cleaning the hospital, but an emergency came in and you were told to clean up the operating room during your lunch break hour.
You didn’t get your break, but you were not compensated for that hour that you worked. Any of these actions are illegal, and they are considered wage theft.
Maintaining Evidence and Documentation
You should keep any documents related to your employment and your wages. You should keep copies of your employment contract, any memos or agreements regarding your work and pay, any memos or emails regarding your job, copies of timesheets or timecards, and paystubs.
You will want to be able to catch any discrepancies right away, so you can make sure you file your complaint in a timely manner if you are the victim of wage theft.
If you notice a pay discrepancy, report it to your manager or to human resources. They will want to work out the issue with them.
If they allege that you were paid properly, or if they claim there isn’t a problem, then you will want to take further action.
You will need to file a complaint with the state labor board. You could benefit from enlisting the help of an attorney to help you through the wage theft claims process.
How An Employment Attorney Could Help
If you have been the victim of wage theft as a custodian, you should consult with an employment law attorney who handles wage theft claims.
With the help of a lawyer, you are much more likely to be able to succeed with your claim, prove the wrongdoing of your employer, and recover your lost wages and any other damages that you are entitled to receive.
When you talk with an employment law attorney, be sure to understand how much they charge and when they expect payment.
Some of them take claims on a contingency basis, which means that they will not be paid until you win your claim. An attorney will help you gather the supporting evidence that you need to show that your employer committed wage theft.
To make sure your claim is filed in a timely manner, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page. The details of your wage theft case will be shared with an attorney who handles employment law matters in your state.