Nurses do not necessarily work in the same way as other worker. The job is spread over 24 hours a day so that sufficient care is provided to patients 24/7.
As so many nurses work in privately run hospitals, wage theft commonly takes place.
If a nurse finds that they have been shortchanged in one wage packet research shows this is most likely deliberate, so wage theft has taken place.
It is unusual for an employer to make a mistake about wages as it is most likely to have been done deliberately.
The Type of Work Nurses Do
Nurses often work long shifts and have to do prep work before or after the job. As with any other employee your employer is required to track and pay for all the hours you work.
There is a set amount of overtime permitted by the day and week and it is when you as a nurse works over these set times that wage theft often takes place.
Also, prep work is considered to be part of a nurse’s daily routine so this has to be paid for whether the employer likes it or not.
Refusing to pay for overtime or prep is a violation of the Hour and Wages Law as determined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
If your employer persistently avoids paying you the correct payments you may be able to sue it for compensation for violation of the FLSA.
What to Do If Your Employer Has Not Paid the Correct Wage
To begin with, you will probably talk with your supervisor/HR. If they do not respond in a positive way to any verbal communication you should try preparing a written communication.
You may have to allow for up to two weeks before you get any reply. Once you have had a response you have to decide if they have taken your complaint seriously.
You may be asked for proof that your payments are incorrect. So you should keep a record of your hours like taking a photo of starting and leaving times while getting a co-worker to write a statement confirming these hours.
When you get your next pay stub you should compare your record with that which appears on the pay stub. If there are some differences you can use these as evidence to prove that wage theft has taken place.
If your employer does not rectify the wage theft you should file a complaint with your local Department of Labor which handles violation of Wage and Hour Law as determined by the FLSA.
However, taking on your employer will not be easy so talking to an employment attorney to guide you through the process is the best thing you can do.
Speak With an Attorney
Your attorney can help gather evidence and communicate with your company so that you have the best chance of negotiating your wage theft and get the money lost repaid.
You can provide all the evidence of your hours worked compared to the amount you have been paid and get co-workers’ statements to prove you actually did those hours.
Your attorney has some evidence to present to your employer which will help to win back your wage theft.
If your attorney thinks your employer has violated the Hours and Wages Law, for example, by not paying you the minimum wage or overtime your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf to recover the unpaid wages.
However, there is only a limited amount of time to file the suit. This is called the statute of limitations. Once this time limit has been reached, you may no longer be able to file a lawsuit.