You may be one of the many people in West Virginia and beyond who is an hourly worker. This means that you receive payment by the hour rather than an annual salary. You may not mind payment for hours worked rather than a lump sum because you earn a good wage. However, you may still be missing out on some of your compensation.
Part of your daily responsibilities at work may include clocking in and clocking out for your scheduled shift. This may become routine after a time, but what if your employer wants you to come into work before your scheduled time or stay later than the end of your shift?
Is your employer stealing your wages?
If your employer wants you to work off the clock, you may be a victim of wage theft. Unfortunately, it is not always as clear cut as you might think. For example, your employer may want you to come into the workplace before your scheduled shift to set up before the hustle and bustle of the workday. If they do not allow you to clock in during that time, you likely will not receive compensation. When that happens, you employer has committed wage theft.
The same could be true if your employer wants you to stay after your shift to clean up when you have already clocked out. By continuing to work without having your time logged, you face the risk of not receiving compensation for your work. Of course, if your employer asks you to stay late and remain on the clock, that request will likely not constitute wage theft unless you do not receive overtime pay as earned.
Why would this happen?
Some employers want to avoid paying their employees overtime pay at all costs, and that can include taking steps to avoid having your hours logged. If this seems like an unscrupulous act to you, you are correct. In fact, wage theft and not paying overtime wages is against the law.
If your employer wants you to work off the clock, you may want to remind them of the law and how not providing proper compensation violates the Fair Labor Standards Act. If you still end up not receiving your full pay, you may want to contact an employment law attorney who could help you determine how to receive all of your pay.