Time theft has been a phrase typically used to describe employees being compensated for work they haven’t done. But in recent years, employers are now the ones being criticized for applying methods to reduce worker pay. Some call it the crime that no one ever talks about and it’s robbed workers in countless industries of unpaid labor.
According to a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, they found more than 2 million people in the United States lose a combined $8 billion in annual income to theft by employers.
How employers can steal hours from workers
These are ways some employers may take money directly out of workers’ paychecks:
- Employers pay their employees in cash off the payroll record.
- Employers force employees to work after they’ve clocked out.
- Employers force employees to work through meals or scheduled breaks.
- If the employee works in food service, the employer steals a percentage of their tips.
- Employees are required to work through mandatory screening processes.
- Employers illegally deduct pay from an employee’s paycheck.
Employees deserve pay for their labor
While such methods may be beneficial for a business’s bottom line, these practices are highly illegal and can cause economic hardship for countless workers. Those who have endured wage theft at the hands of their employer may want to contact an experienced employment law attorney. They can help workers understand their rights and take their case to court.