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Spotting Wage Violations: What Are Signs That Your Employer May Be Breaking the Law?

In today’s complex employment landscape, identifying wage law violations is crucial for maintaining fair treatment and ensuring lawful compensation. Unfortunately, wage theft occurs more frequently than many realize, affecting employees in many different positions and industries. Recognizing these illegal practices is essential not only for securing owed wages but also for upholding worker rights. At Miller Shah LLP, we are committed to helping employees navigate these challenges and receive the compensation they deserve.

Understanding Common Wage Law Violations

Wage law violations can take many forms, all of which are detrimental to workers’ financial well-being and morale. These violations can be both overt and subtle, though there are certain common types of wage law infringements of which employees should be aware: 

Unpaid Overtime

One prevalent violation is the non-payment or underpayment of earned overtime. By law, employees who work beyond the standard 40-hour workweek are entitled to overtime pay, typically calculated at one and a half times their regular rate. Employers may attempt to avoid this by misclassifying hours or failing to acknowledge overtime entirely.

Withheld Wages

Employers might fabricate reasons to withhold wages, such as accusing workers of rule violations or failure to complete required tasks. This can be particularly concerning if an employee is terminated without receiving their final paycheck. 

Working Through Breaks

Employees are entitled to mandatory breaks depending on their work shifts.  If an employee works through a break period, that time counts toward their total hours worked for the week and can result in unpaid overtime. 

Lack of Expense Reimbursement

Certain jobs require employees to purchase tools, uniforms or other necessary items. If employers fail to reimburse these expenses or deduct them from wages without proper justification, it unfairly and unlawfully shifts business costs onto employees.

Employee Misclassification

Misclassifying employees as independent contractors is another tactic used to evade paying benefits and fair wages. Independent contractors typically have fewer protections and benefits than regular employees. By misclassifying staff, employers can illegally reduce their financial obligations.

Miscalculated Wages

Sometimes, the most straightforward indication of wage theft is when earnings do not align with recorded work hours. Regular discrepancies between reported hours and received wages should raise immediate concerns.

Protecting Your Rights

If you suspect you have been the victim of a wage violation, there are several steps you should take:

  • Document Everything: Keep detailed records of your hours worked, wages received, and any communications with your employer regarding your pay.
  • Understand Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with relevant federal and state employment laws to identify potential violations.
  • Seek Legal Advice: Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can provide clarity and direction. Your lawyer can help determine if your rights have been violated and advise you on the appropriate course of action.

Get Legal Help Now

Wage laws play a vital role in ensuring fair compensation and safeguarding workers’ rights. Identifying and addressing wage violations is essential for maintaining workplace integrity and financial security for both employees and employers. If you believe your employer is infringing on these rights, you can take action. Miller Shah offers comprehensive legal support to help you navigate these issues and secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation and let our experienced team assist you in protecting your rights.

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While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with an attorney, please call 866-540-5505 or complete the intake form to email us.
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