Businessman receiving his salary and bonus
  • Posted By Sirmabekian
  • 2022

When it comes to wage thefts, there is sadly a societal trend where vulnerable employees like immigrants are more prone to have their salary rights infringed by their bosses. The Workers’ Rights Clinic receives hundreds of visitors every month, many of whom have valid complaints about wrongful compensation. Regrettably, lower-paid workers are the ones who most frequently deal with the issue of wage theft.

Although employers are obligated to abide by labor rules, this is not always the case. Read on to learn five important tips on how to protect yourself from the risks of wage theft.

Learn to Recognize Instances of Wage Theft

A wide range of salary infractions is referred to as wage theft. These include:

  • Receiving zero compensation
  • Getting paid less than the legal minimum wage
  • Not getting compensated for every hour put in
  • Never receiving overtime pay
  • Being asked to put in unofficial, off-the-clock hours
  • Not being allowed to keep all your collected tips
  • Being prohibited from taking paid leave
  • Receiving unlawful pay deductions

Familiarize Yourself with Your Legal Rights

Learning the national, state, and regional legal protections that you’re entitled to as an employee is your first step to preventing wage theft. These legal protections include safeguards against employer retaliation, safety risks, and prejudice, as well as your rights to meal and breaks, overtime compensation, and appropriate health or religious allowances.

Never Presume Your Wage Thefts Were Unintentional

Although it’s possible for a business to sometimes commit an accounting blunder that reduces your salary below what it ought to be, the majority of wage theft cases are deliberate. They are obvious, willful violations in most of these cases.

In certain environments and professions, wage theft occurs more frequently compared to others. It occurs fairly commonly among those working in retail, construction, factories, eateries, cleaning companies, hospitality, childcare services, domestic services, and even private homes.

Be Especially Cautious When Part of a Vulnerable Group

Race, ethnicity, and immigrant backgrounds have all been significantly linked to higher incidences of wage theft occurring. The bulk of these victims is the more underprivileged workers, particularly immigrants who are more susceptible. Immigrant workers typically understand very little about their entitlements, which is a major cause of becoming victims to wage theft.

Additionally, the recent political vitriol against immigrants could give certain businesses the confidence to violate wage laws. Due to the country’s rules and procedures concerning the detention and deportation of migrants, many immigrant employees are hesitant to pursue their reparations for wage theft as they’re afraid of drawing the interest of immigration officials.

Always Track and Record Your Work Hours

Businesses are required to provide employees with details on the hours they put in and the salary they earned every billing cycle. Yet, many businesses fail to uphold this commitment. That is why every employee should keep records themselves in order to check their pay, identify any rights violations immediately, and have more concrete evidence to back up their claims should wage theft occur. Keep a daily record of your starting and ending times, any breaks taken, and any financial or payroll records.

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