Unpaid Wages is Wage Theft

 In Employment Law, Overtime Law, Wage Law

Workers are Entitled to Unpaid Wages

Nearly every worker in the United States is entitled to be paid overtime and minimum wage. If you have not been paid overtime or minimum wage, contact us here at Herrmann Law. We can pursue your unpaid wages and overtime claims to recover the money that you are due. In many cases, you may also be entitled to liquidated or statutory damages, civil penalties and accumulated interest on your unpaid wages.

In many states and cities, the minimum wage is much higher than minimum wage under federal law. Currently, in New York, for example, the minimum wage for most workers is $15.00 an hour. See here. State and city laws govern when their minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage.

Have You Been Cheated on Your Wages? 

Sometimes it is obvious that you have been cheated out of your earned wages and are owed unpaid wages. For example, your employer only pays you $5.00 an hour or you are not paid overtime after forty (40) hours in a week. Call us if you are being cheated that blatantly.

However, employers can cheat on their minimum wage obligations in more subtle ways. For example, employers can cheat by miscalculating the tip credit for workers who customarily receive tips. Taking the federal minimum wage, an employer can use a worker’s tips to satisfy the employer’s minimum wage obligation. Federal law allows employers to use up to $5.12 of tips to ensure that the minimum wage is paid. BUT, workers must still receive the minimum wage and, if the tips are not high enough, then employers must make up the difference in cash payments. So, if the worker only made $4.00 an hour in tips and the employer still only paid $2.13 in cash payments, the worker has been underpaid and has been cheated. If you think this has happened to you, call us. We are hour and wage lawyers who can help vindicate your rights.

Illegal Tip Pooling is Wage Theft

Another way for employers to cheat on the minimum wage is through illegal tip pooling arrangements. Tip pooling is lawful if the rules are followed. However if the rules are broken, then the employer CANNOT use the tip credit. The employer has to pay the full minimum wage in cash payments. An unlawful tip pool is typically one that includes workers who are not customarily tipped. In the restaurant industry, for example, kitchen and security staff cannot participate in a tip pool. Supervisors and owners can NEVER participate in a tip pooling arrangement. If your employer has used an illegal tip pool and has taken the tip credit, likely you have been cheated of your minimum wage. Call us. We can help get you paid.

Other forms of Wage Theft

Other forms of Wage Theft used by employers to cheat workers out of their wages include:

  • Misclassifying workers as “independent contractors” instead of employees — independent contractors are not entitled to minimum wage; this is a “big cheat” by employer
  • Requiring off the clock work — more time worked off-the-clock means more cheating on the minimum wage
  • Not raising pay when the minimum wage rises – usually, statutory minimum wage increases begin on January 1st
  • Not reimbursing for expenses required by law or making illegal payroll deductions
  • Not paying for waiting time or unpaid travel time

Call the Employee Rights Attorneys at Herrmann Law Today 

For more information, call the Employee Rights attorneys at Herrmann Law. If you think that your employer has violated your rights as an employee, call us. We are proven, experienced, employee-focused attorneys representing workers across the United States in all types of workplace disputes. Use our Online Contact page or call us at (817) 479-9229. We are more than just a law firm for employees – we are an employee’s fiercest advocate, equipping employees with the legal representation needed to achieve the best result possible.

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