Working for a living is part of life, and often the size of a person’s paycheck does not correlate to exactly how hard they have worked or the level of dedication they bring to the job. This is true not only because many people do not earn a fair live-able wage for their work, but because they are often shortchanged in receiving the wages they earned.
Wage Theft Is Costing Billions
Few people can wrap their head around how much money billions of dollars really is. This is especially true when it comes to lower wage workers. By the time they are handed their paycheck, they have often mentally spent just about every penny, and many are unlikely to question the amount of their check because they need the money right away.
Unfortunately, employers who pay low wages are well aware of this, and many try to get away with paying workers even less. In fact, according to a report from CBS News, two popular fast food places have had a vast majority of their employers report wage theft.
Some do not earn a wage in line with the minimum wage in their state. Others lose out on money because they are asked to work off the clock or because they are not paid overtime wages when they work more than 40 hours each week.
Attempts to count these lost wages have been made in 39 states, and a loss of $2 billion was confirmed, but due to under-reporting it is estimated that $50 billion would be a more accurate figure. This places undue financial strain on many individuals and families. However, concerns do not end there. Since these workers are likely to spend all of their paycheck, when there is money missing it means there is less money being spent and stimulating the economy. Wage theft may be having a widespread impact.
What To Do If You’ve Experienced Wage Theft
If you are experiencing or have experienced wage theft, there are several paths to justice to consider. While some attempt to find justice through filing a complaint with the Department of Labor or the state attorney general, you may benefit from filing a claim for unpaid wages with the help of an experienced lawyer. You may be able to seek compensation above and beyond what you are owed.