Be Aware of Wage Theft Laws

With cities, counties, and states strapped for cash, these entities are looking to increase revenue in numerous ways.

One of the methods being adopted throughout the U.S. is the implementation of Wage Theft Laws some of which call for wage restitution of 3 times back wages, liquidated damages, court processing fees, fines, and in some cases even imprisonment.

Wage theft is defined as workers not receiving wages that they are legally owed.

Wage theft occurs in different forms such as:

1. Unpaid overtime.

2. Paying employees late.

3. Working during meal breaks.

4. Not paying employees at all.

5. Altering time cards or pay stubs.

6. Forcing employees to work off-the-clock.

7. Not being paid at least the minimum wage.

8. Illegally deducting money from employees’ pay checks.

9. Misclassification of employees as independent contractors or salary exempt.

HR POINTER: This is the beginning of a trend that will lead to a patchwork of laws around the U.S. designed not only to compensate employees fairly but also to raise badly needed revenue.

Now is the time to analyze your organization in relation to the nine wage theft categories above.

Gone are the days when companies would get a simple “slap on the hand” with a citation and only pay the back wages owed.

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