Wage and hour issues are often hidden. Employees are placed in positions where they feel as though they must complete a job or a task, regardless of compensation. They may have tips shorted or be subjected misclassifications that deny them their pay for hours worked. And to follow the mainstream media, one would be led to believe that wage theft and wage and hour violations only occur with great rarity.
Sadly for workers, this is not true. In fact, wage and hour violations are a daily, or perhaps more accurately, an hourly occurrence. Workers often feel isolated, as if they are the only ones to suffer this outrage, but sometimes the truth comes out, the violations are exposed and workers may actually be compensated for their stolen wages.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has obtained settlements from some restaurants in New York, and in one case, is requiring a pizza franchise to pay $800,000 in underpaid wages and overtime. The company underreported hours and rounded hours down for six years.
This behavior is deplorable and the magnitude of the problem is staggering. One report notes that documented wage theft that was prosecuted and that led to some recovery wages was almost triple the amount of criminal property theft from robberies that occurred in the U.S. in 2012.
While robberies took about $340 million from Americans, just accounting for wage and hour violations that resulted in prosecution and where some workers obtained some level of compensation for their lost wages, totaled $933 million.
Don’t remain quiet; you should contact the Attorney General’s office or a private attorney for advice on how to go about obtaining your stolen wages.
Dalilykos.com, “This week in the war on workers: Wins against wage theft,” Laura Clawson, February 14, 2015