Wage Theft On The Rise

An unfortunate reality of today’s economy is that more and more workers are facing “wage theft.” Wage theft refers to the practice of underpaying or failing to pay workers for their labor.

As stated in a recent wage theft article, “the problem reflects a changing economy in which low-wage work has increased, more companies try to cut labor costs to stay afloat in a sour business climate, and fewer workers belong to unions that might protect them..
Wage theft can be as simple as stealing tips from restaurant servers, illegal deductions from a worker’s paycheck or failing to pay overtime or the legal minimum wage. It also can take other forms, such as classifying workers as “independent contractors” to avoid paying unemployment insurance.”

If you believe you have been denied the compensation you deserve, it’s important to speak to a knowledgeable Atlanta wage and hour attorney right away.

The good news is that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is one of the oldest labor laws and is designed to protect workers from all forms of “wage theft.” The FLSA applies to nearly all workers in the United States who work for a wage in this country and covers a number of different areas, including minimum wage, overtime and child labor laws.

The minimum wage provision requires that each worker be paid at least the federal minimum wage (although in some states the requirement is higher). Further, the FLSA requires that all “non-exempt” employees be paid overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in any work week at a rate of one and one-half times their current rate of pay.

Even though this sounds like a simple rule, it has many complex applications and employers may both intentionally and unintentionally avoid paying workers all the pay they are due. Low-income service industries such as fast food, domestic work, agriculture, retail, hotel and tourism, and home health care are often the hardest hit, explains the article. It’s also a big problem in the “warehousing and construction industries, which employ large numbers of recent immigrants and undocumented workers, who are reluctant to complain, fearing scrutiny of their immigration status.”

If you believe that you have been denied overtime or that your employer has committed some other violation of the wage and hour laws, you don’t have to file an EEOC claim as you would in a typical discrimination case. Instead, you can hire a private attorney and file suit as soon as you discover the violation.

For more information or if you believe you have been a victim of “wage theft” or otherwise denied all the pay you deserve contact the top Georgia back pay lawyers Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.