When you accept a job that offers hourly compensation, you expect that your employer will pay you for the time you invest. There are numerous ways that businesses could unfairly deprive their hourly workers of appropriate wages.
Making you work off the clock is one example. Unfairly denying overtime pay when you have put in more than 40 hours in another. Sometimes, companies engage in a practice known as time-shaving to pay less than they should for the labor that they receive. How can you determine if your employer has used time-shaving to underpay you?
Time-shaving is often a subtle practice
Unlike telling you outright that you must clock out before cleaning or do certain tasks before you clock in, time-shaving doesn’t actually involve the employee knowing what happens at all.
Someone in management, payroll or human resources manually alters individual time clock records. They might make it so that someone clocks in two minutes later than they actually did in clocks out a few minutes earlier than they did. Trimming four or five minutes off of a shift might not seem like a big deal, but that time will accumulate quickly.
Even just a couple of minutes a day could add up to several unpaid hours every month. The more employees a company does this to, the more money they unfairly divert to themselves that they should have paid to their workers for compensation.
How do you prove time-shaving?
To bring a claim against your employer for shaving time off of your payroll records, you will need some kind of documentation validating your claim. Taking a photograph of the computerized time clock system every time you clock in and out may seem like a waste of time and storage space on your phone.
However, those records could eventually help you show has a substantial discrepancy between what you actually worked and what the company reported on your paycheck. The chances are good that if management applies this tactic to one person, they may do the same thing to everyone else as well or at least a significant number of people every week.
Even small amounts of wage theft are still illegal
It is never acceptable for a company to intentionally deprive its staff of hourly compensation. Intentionally employing a system to reduce how much you pay a worker through altering their time clock records is an actionable and unethical employment practice.
Recognizing the warning signs of wage theft, like paychecks that consistently seem to be a little low, can help you take action and get the wages you have already earned.