Armstrong & Associates Employment Law Firm

What is covert wage theft?

When you put so much effort into your job, you deserve the wages that you earn. But perhaps you should actually earn even more than you get.

It is all too easy for an underhanded employer to cheat you out of your fair share of pay. To protect your rights, it is important to understand signs of covert wage theft.

Shirking mandated time off

Go Banking Rates discusses the issue of covert wage theft. It discusses four major ways that this type of wage theft can happen.

First, not paying for mandated time off. If you were guaranteed certain days or holidays off with pay, you also have the right to take them. Make sure you keep an eye on your paycheck in the aftermath to ensure that you get that money because it is wage theft if an employee tries to take it away or take away your vacation days.

Employee misclassification

Next, misclassification as an independent contractor. If you are treated as a regular employee but still get labeled as a contractor, it could be an employee trying to get out of giving you your rightful benefits and pay. You also hold the responsibility for filing your own taxes.

Off-the-clock work

Third, making employees work off the clock. Every minute dedicated to the job needs to receive payment. This includes time spent completing errands after a shift on the request of the company, or time needed to prepare a workstation before a shift.

Stolen tips

Finally, appropriating tips. A company may try to do something like detract credit card processing fees from a tip pool, but there is no legal basis to do that.

Any of these actions constitute covert wage theft and should be brought to light and handled quickly.


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