Though you may not work at your dream job, you likely still appreciate the fact that you can work and earn an income to meet your daily needs. Of course, even though you perform your work-related duties as required, you still rely on your employer to provide you with the compensation you deserve for the work you do.
Unfortunately, you may be among the numerous people who face wage theft by their employers. Wage violations can come in many forms, and if you suspect that your employer is not providing you with proper compensation, you may wish to bring it to his or her attention. In some cases, a simple payroll error could result in minor discrepancies in your pay. However, if your employer brushes off your concerns or even threatens retaliation for your complaint, you may need to take additional steps.
What actions count as wage theft?
In order to know whether certain types of wage theft have occurred, you need to know your hourly rate. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. However, in West Virginia, the minimum wage is $8.25. As a result, your employer must pay you at least $8.25 for every hour that you work. If you find that your hourly wage falls below this amount, your employer may have committed wage theft.
Additionally, if you are a nonexempt hourly worker, you should receive overtime pay for any hours over 40 during a week that you work. If you work more than 40 hours and do not receive that extra compensation, you did not receive your rightful pay. Additionally, if your employer requires you to work off the clock, does not provide you with meal breaks, pays you a flat fee that falls below the hourly minimum wage or commits other violations, you may have reason for a claim.
What can you do about wage theft?
If you do believe that your employer has committed wage violations and has not properly responded to your concerns, you may need to take further action. In some instances, filing a claim with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor may be in your best interests. Though this may seem like a drastic step, it may be necessary. Working with an employment law attorney could allow you to understand what information your complaint should include and your best steps for filing your claim.