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5 examples of how employers could commit wage theft

On Behalf of | May 19, 2021 | Employment Law

When Michigan residents work for another person, their employer has a certain amount of control over that person. Workers typically must do what their employer wants in the scope of their work-related duties, and in exchange, the employees receive compensation. While this may seem like an obvious and fair arrangement, some employers do not always keep up with the fair part as wage theft is not unusual in various places of employment.

Laws exist that address the manner in which employees receive payment. Those laws differ whether someone is a contract worker, an hourly employee or a salaried employee. It is possible for some salaried employees and those fitting other circumstances to be exempt from some wage laws, such as time-and-a-half pay for overtime. However, if workers are not exempt, not receiving their overtime wages after working 40 hours in a week is one example of a wage violation.

Some other ways that employers may attempt to pay their employees less include:

  • Not paying a worker the agreed-upon amount of compensation, such as paying a much lower amount or not paying them at all, which happens more often with contract work
  • Requiring workers to perform work-related duties off the clock, meaning their hours are not being tracked and they will likely not receive pay for that time
  • Violating minimum wage laws by paying less than the federal amount required for hourly work
  • Not paying tipped workers enough to meet minimum wage standards if their earned tips did not reach the minimum hourly wage

Because wage theft can occur in many ways, some of which are not so obvious, it is easier than some people may realize for employers to cheat workers. If Michigan workers believe that they have not received fair or agreed-upon compensation for their labor, they may want to gain information about whether their employer’s actions are illegal. Discussing the matter with legal professionals experienced in employment law may be useful.