Exclusively Employment Law

Common ways that employers can cheat you out of your wages

by | Aug 11, 2022 | Wage and Hour

Employers engage in wage theft much more often than you would expect.

Generally speaking, employers are likelier to cheat low-income workers out of their wages. In 2019 alone, the U.S. Department of Labor cited more than 8,000 employers for roughly $287 million in wage theft – and that may just the tip of the iceberg. Many more employers get away with wage theft and without any repercussions. It is estimated that the true cost of wage theft to employees is approximately $15 billion every year.

How do employers cheat their employees out of wages?

There are all kinds of creative methods that employers use. Some of the most common methods include:

  • Requiring an employee to work off the clock: If you have ever been directed to do your prep work before you clock in at a kitchen, that’s wage theft. If you are told to clock out before you finish wiping down a dining room, that’s also wage theft.
  • Misclassification as an independent contractor: Sometimes, an employer may misclassify an employee as an independent contractor by mistake. Other times, an employer misclassifies an employee as an independent contractor intentionally to avoid paying overtime, benefits, and taxes.
  • Hour shifting:  An employer may require work an hourly employee to work in excess of the employee’s assigned hours and then “shift” some of those hours to the next pay period so that it does not look like the employer owes any overtime compensation to the employee.

If you believe that you are a victim of wage theft, call 916-612-0326 or email ([email protected]) Finley Employment Law today. Finley Employment Law serves clients throughout California, including Sacramento, Roseville, Davis, Folsom, and Elk Grove.

The information in this blog post is for general informational and advertising purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Instead, you should speak with a California employment attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.