How to identify and report wage theft

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2024 | Employment |

Wage theft is a serious issue that affects many workers. Knowing how to identify and report it is crucial to protecting your rights and ensuring fair compensation for your labor.

Recognizing wage theft

Wage theft occurs when employers fail to pay workers what they are owed. Common examples include not paying for overtime, making illegal deductions, paying below minimum wage, or not paying at all.

To identify wage theft, look at your pay stubs and hours worked. Compare your pay rate with minimum wage in your area and make sure you receive overtime for any hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour work week. If you suspect discrepancies, start saving documentation.

How to report it

If you believe your employer has been stealing your wages, consider reporting it to the proper authorities. You can start by speaking with your employer. Sometimes wage theft can result from misunderstandings or clerical errors. If your employer refuses to correct the issue, you can escalate things.

In the United States, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is responsible for enforcing federal labor laws. You can file a complaint with the WHD either online or by visiting a local office. Be sure to provide as much evidence as possible, including pay stubs and timecards.

Specific guidelines for California

California has stringent labor laws to protect workers from wage theft. The state’s minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum, and most workers must receive overtime pay for any hours worked over eight in a day or 40 in a week.

Discovering your employer has not been paying you properly can be a distressing experience, but by understanding the law, you can report with confidence and ensure you receive adequate compensation.