Samuel J. Cordes & Associates
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Employees don't have to tolerate wage theft

Pennsylvania workers might not that wage theft is an issue here, but the truth is that wage and overtime theft are a major issue here in Pennsylvania and nationwide. Many workers don't realize that they a legal recourse when this happens to them and some simply take it in stride as another indignity of their unpleasant job.

However, the Fair Labor Standards Act clearly delineates the laws for minimum wage and overtime pay, and there is very little if any wiggle room on how employers implement those laws. For example, some employers may misleadingly tell employees that they are exempt from overtime pay simply because that is what the employer wants, however, employers do not have the authority to make that determination. Federal law clearly states which job duties constitute an exempt job and which types of jobs are entitled to overtime pay.

One way that employers typically cheat employees out of overtime pay is by requiring those who should be paid overtime to work only 40 hours per week and then giving them more work than they can complete in that time frame. Many workers, afraid of disappointing their boss, will simply lie on their time card in order to get everything done.

Employees don't have to accept wage theft as a part of the job, they have a right to seek fair compensation for the work that they do. In addition, employers are prohibited from retaliating against someone who asks to be paid fairly, which means they can't fire or discipline someone who inquires about fair overtime pay. In order to accomplish this, it's best to go through formal channels such as a labor law attorney or the U.S. Department of Labor.

Source: American Public Media, "Robbed on the job: Advice on fighting wage theft" Jan. 4, 2013

Find out more about employee rights on our wage, hour, and overtime claims page.

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