When times are tough in Illinois and other states across the nation, those already in the lowest income bracket tend to experience them greater. In some situations, businesses may decide the best option is to trim finances by layoff their lowest paid employees, paying less than minimum wage, have employees work off of the clock or even fail to pay overtime rates. All of these are considered wage and hour law violations and could result in an employee taking legal action.
Based on data from the Center for Public Integrity, companies that hire child care workers, gas station attendants, restaurant servers and security guards are the businesses that are more likely to be caught violating wage and hour laws. In 2019, it was found that the agency cited roughly 8,500 employers for cheating their employees out of around $287 million.
What is even more surprising is that some of the worst offenders of these violations are major U.S. corporations, including Halliburton, G4S Wackenhut and Circle-K stores. Collectively, just these stores were discovered to have taken more than $22 million from their employees from 2005 until present day.
Filing a complaint
If an employee believes that he or she is a victim of wage theft due to being paid below minimum wage, working off of the clock or not getting an overtime rate, then it is possible to take action. While filing an action with the Department of Labor could help address the matter and penalize an employer, this rarely gets employees paid damages. Thus, it is important for employees to consider filing a civil action to address the losses suffered by the matter.
Employment law matters can be complex. However, regardless of the complexity of the matter, it is important that employees understand their rights and how best to ensure that they are upheld and protected. When wage and hours violations occur, this could harm an employee significantly when it comes to finances. Taking a legal action could help address these and other losses suffered.