As large and powerful corporations continue to dominate the market, one issue that has been gaining increasing attention is wage theft. Over the last year, significant lawsuits have been filed against some of America’s largest companies by current and former employees claiming their legal rights to proper compensation were violated.
This blog post will examine the most common types of wage theft and how you can protect your business from allegations.
What is wage theft?
Wage theft can be considered any illegal practice that results in an employer not paying their employees as promised. This could include refusing to pay overtime, not providing proper rest breaks, not honoring minimum wage requirements, or misclassifying employees as independent contractors so they can be deprived of the complete package of standard employee benefits.
Other common practices, such as making deductions for minor mistakes made by employees on the job or calling unpaid internships “on-the-job training,” are also examples of wage theft.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employers are responsible for paying fair wages and providing the appropriate employee compensation in accordance with federal and state regulations. These laws dictate that employees must be provided with a minimum wage, overtime pay when applicable, safety measures, and so on.
In the past year, some large corporations have been ordered to pay the money owed to their employees. For example, McDonald’s in California paid out $26 million. In Oregon, Amazon settled with their employees for $18 million. And last year, Walmart was responsible for paying over $3 billion to their past and present employees.
Business owners must stay adequately informed of state and federal laws to ensure they comply with wage and hour regulations. Keeping accurate, detailed records makes it easier to prove compliance with wage and hour laws if any questions arise. Additionally, implementing policies that mitigate the possibility of wage disputes or errors can be beneficial — especially in the current business climate.