Wage theft happens when an employer withholds benefits from a worker or an employee for which they have already worked hard. In most cases, wage theft goes unnoticed or unreported either because the employees are not aware of it happening or they do not do anything in fear of retaliation. However, you can file complaints against your employer and get the justice you deserve.
Wage theft comes in various forms, most of which can slip under your radar. The sad part is that most victims of wage theft do not even realize that they are being cheated by their own boss, which is why it continues to happen to them. Nevertheless, if you believe your wages were stolen by your employer, speak to an attorney from Hayber, McKenna, & Dinsmore today.
Signs of wage theft
- They are not paying you the minimum wage amount. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and Connecticut state law wage is $14 per hour. This is the most common form of wage theft.
- They are not paying you fairly for the extra hours you have worked, that is, over time. In Connecticut, you are entitled to time-and-a-half of every hour you work after the 40 working hours a week.
- It is wage theft when employers do not allow employees to take rest and meal breaks which they are entitled to under employment law. The employers might take illegal deductions from the workers’ meal and break times.
- Many employers also take away tips from their employees. This is not just wage theft but technically stealing money that belonged to other people. When customers give you tips, you are entitled to keep them.
- Wage theft occurs when employers make employees work off-the-clock without paying them adequately. If you are asked to do extra unpaid work, it is probably time to change jobs.
What to do when you experience wage theft?
First of all, talk to your employer about it. Sometimes it is not wage theft but pure misunderstanding and miscommunication. If they refuse to acknowledge the problem or won’t pay you, you can start gathering information about the discrepancies to keep as evidence. Finally, file a complaint with the Department of Labour and show them the evidence you collected. They will ask for information about you, your employer, and your wages.
However, ensure you do not wait too long to file the complaint. The statute of limitations for filing a complaint is two years from the date of the incident.