Wage theft is an all-too-common problem that employees may not even recognize

Wage theft is a major issue because employees often feel like they don’t know how to put a stop to it. They may feel like something is wrong, but they don’t want to “rock the boat” or lose their job. They know how hard it is to land a job, so they just let their employers steal their wages in silence.

It’s important for employees to know both how wage theft happens and what they can do to put an end to it. To get started, here are a few common examples of wage theft:

  • Paying less than minimum wage
  • Not paying overtime
  • Paying overtime, but at the employee’s regular rate
  • Taking tips meant for the employee
  • Telling an employee that they have to work off the clock

Any time that you do not get properly compensated for the time you have put in at work, you may be experiencing wage theft.

What can you do?

The first step is just to bring the issue up to your employer. Maybe it was an honest mistake or a paperwork error. For instance, maybe someone in payroll didn’t realize that you worked overtime. They may be able to fix the issue quickly and get you the money that you earned.

If this does not happen, though, and if you are losing a significant amount of money in wages, you need to know what rights you have as an employee. You don’t have to accept this behavior. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance and help you protect your rights.

super lawyers
New York County Lawyers Association
New York City Bar
NELA Advocates for Employee Rights National Employment Lawyers Association
lead counsel lc verified