Employees deserve to be paid fairly according to the law. Unfortunately, some employers fail to do this. Instead, they withhold payments from workers. Wage theft is becoming a significant issue in the US. Research shows that between 2017 and 2020, $3 billion in stolen wages were recovered.
However, some employees don’t know how to identify wage theft. As a result, they lose a lot of money and hours. Here are signs to look out for.
Being paid below the minimum wage
The minimum wage for most employees in Kentucky in 2022 is $7.25 per hour. If you are paid less than this, you may be experiencing wage theft.
Not being paid for overtime
In Kentucky, the maximum is 40 hours per week, but every company has its determined working period. When you work overtime, you need to be compensated for the extra hours. Upon receiving your payment, overtime hours should be indicated and paid as so on your payslip.
Working off the clock
Working before clocking in, after clocking out or during breaks without compensation may be considered off-the-clock violations. You may be in this situation if your employer gives you a substantial workload that can’t be completed within work hours, yet the company has a strict overtime policy.
Some employers find illegal ways to deduct money from employees’ salaries. Deductions may be explainable if the employer makes a payroll mistake. Further, when you make a mistake like breaking an item or having a register shortage, your employer may charge you for the loss. But your earnings should not go below the legal minimum wage.
Illegal deductions include business expenses, workers’ compensation premiums and pre-employment physical and medical examinations.
Employees should know when their employer is stealing their wages. If you believe your employer has committed wage and hour violations against you, get adequate information to protect your rights.