During hard economic times, an employer can deny you your rightful pay and commit wage theft violations. The place where federal and state law intersects can create a particularly large hurdle, with some employers not even knowing these laws. In other cases, they may outright choose to ignore them.
To combat wage and hour law violations, it is important to understand your rights. Knowing what protections you have in the first place can help you take swift action when needed.
Who suffers from wage theft?
The U.S. Department of Labor takes a close look at the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). They state that in some cases, wage violations happen due to the misuse of FLSA exemptions. The misinterpretation of minimum wage, backpay guarantees and overtime also factor in.
Of the workers whose pay may end up potentially affected, the groups that suffer from a high rate of wage theft include farmers, sales representatives who rely on commissions, and bartenders or servers who maintain heavy reliance on tips.
Examples of industry violations
Industry violations over overtime laws and minimum wage can include examples like:
- Farmworkers forced to work on a piece-rate basis, or whose employers do not keep good records, getting denied full pay
- Irregular hour workers suffering from contract violations and wage theft, such as news reporters, firefighters, and on-call servicemen
- Service and retail industry workers who work on a commission basis, whose employers misuse FLSA exemptions for commission roles
If you suffer from wage theft or loss due to an employer ignoring laws that should protect you, consider contacting legal help to learn more about your options.