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Where can I look for signs and evidence of wage theft?

A paycheck is one of the most important things in a person's life. It allows us to support ourselves and our families, and sometimes people have to work in jobs they hate just to make enough to do that.

With all this in mind, it seems especially egregious when an employer attempts to withhold money wrongfully from a worker. This act of wage theft is, sadly, not uncommon and it can devastate the lives of workers and employees who earn money they never receive. If you feel like you might be the victim of minimum wage violations, unpaid overtime and other wage violations in New York, it can be crucial that you look in the following places for signs of wage theft.

  • Your worker categorization: An employer may wrongfully classify employees as contractors to avoid paying benefits and overtime. 
  • Your hours worked: Keep track of how many hours you are on the job; compare your records to your employer's records. If they vary, it could be a sign you were working off the clock without realizing it.
  • Off-the-clock requests: Employers who make requests when someone is off the clock are asking that person to work for free. Unless you are a salaried employee, you should be compensated for every hour you are performing the duties of your job.
  • Paycheck deductions: While there are legitimate deductions that can be taken from a paycheck, not all deductions are lawful.
  • Rest and meal breaks: You are entitled to certain rests and meal breaks, depending on your worker status and schedule. If you are not receiving these breaks, it could be a sign of wage theft.
  • Timing of your paycheck: Workers should receive paychecks in a timely manner. Some workers must receive weekly wages while others must collect a paycheck at least once per month.

If you notice these or other discrepancies, you could be a victim of wage theft, and it is crucial that you act fast to address the situation. You can do this by consulting an attorney as soon as possible. Waiting too long or assuming there is nothing you can do can prove to be costly mistakes.

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