One of the more common kinds of wage theft occurs when an employee isn’t paid for working overtime. If you are paid hourly, then you should be paid for any time that you work over 40 hours per week. Depending on the state in which you live and work, the specific job that you do, and the kind of contract under which you are employed, the definition of overtime can change slightly or significantly.
You should make sure you understand the definition of overtime as it applies to your employer and as it affects your specific job role. You should keep copies of all paperwork associated with your job. You should be given details and paperwork when you are initially hired. You should keep a copy of your contract as well, so you will have the evidence that you need to support your claim.
Working time is the time that you are scheduled to work or required to be there. As an example, if you are required to work from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., that is your working time. If you are scheduled to work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., that is your working time. Your 15-minute breaks count toward your working time, but depending on the company policy, your lunch break may not count.
If you work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but you are required to take an unpaid one-hour lunch, you will be paid for 8 hours that day. You should keep copies of all schedules and/or paystubs. Most employers have digital timekeeping, and your wage theft lawyer may be able to access those records for your claim. Digital timekeeping will show if there have been any manual changes made by your employer.
How To Prove You Are Working More Than You Are Being Paid For
If you are working more than you are getting paid for, you will need to provide supporting documentation and records that show you have worked more than you are being paid for. You will need to prove that you are being shorted some pay so you can pursue a wage theft case. Documentation and supporting evidence are essential to any successful wage theft claim.
You should maintain records that show your hours worked as well as your pay received. This means you should keep copies of paystubs or paychecks and also keep copies of timesheets or timecards. If your time is maintained using a digital system, your attorney will be able to access it or file a motion to request records, which must be released. Any manual adjustments to your time will be visible when the files are released.
Keep track of your hours yourself. Maintain a written record of your hours. Keep a notebook where you can jot down your in and out time. Also, note any breaks – including your lunch breaks. You should write down the names of coworkers with your daily time in your personal files. Coworkers can be used as corroborating witnesses because they can help confirm your claims and verify when you were working.
Here are some documents that can support your wage theft claim:
- Timecards or timesheets
- Paystubs or copies of paychecks
- Documented hours worked, including notes regarding breaks
- Witness statements
- Detailed list of coworkers who worked shifts with you
How An Employment Law Attorney Can Help Your Case
If you are the victim of wage theft, you should enlist the help of an employment law attorney who is licensed to handle wage theft cases in your state. Your chances of a successful claim improve greatly when you have a wage theft lawyer representing you. Your attorney can review your employment contract and can determine if you were shorted any pay, and if you were, the total amount of the theft.
Your lawyer can gather the supporting evidence and will get everything filed properly and in a timely manner. With the help of a wage theft attorney, the process will go much more smoothly and be much less stressful.
If you believe you have suffered from wage theft, you should take action against your employer. Get a Free Case Evaluation with an employment law attorney in your state who can aggressively pursue your claim and ensure that you are treated fairly.