Wage Theft and Overtime Law Enforcement
Wage theft may be the most common crime in America that you never hear about.
When someone steals your property, you call the police and the thief can be caught, convicted and put in jail, but when you lose income to wage theft because your employer doesnt pay overtime, it may seem as if no one does anything to stop it. Every year, employers in the U.S. steal wages from millions of workers by not paying overtime as required by federal law, making them work off-the-clock, altering their time sheets to remove hours worked or add breaks not taken, misclassifying them as independent contractors or exempt employees, paying less than minimum wage or not paying them at all.
Companies that have been accused of wage theft include national names such as Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Bank of America, and the Hooters restaurant chain, but smaller, locally owned businesses are just as likely to be among the 70% of employers who do not pay wages in accordance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
A May 2012 study by the Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center points out that public enforcement of wage and hour laws cannot keep up with violations. On the federal level, the U.S. Department of Labor has only 1,000 investigators for the more than 7 million workplaces nationwide.
So how can a worker get help when he or she is a victim of wage theft? If the theft involves overtime or minimum wage violations, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows individual workers to enforce the law by hiring an attorney to enforce the law in federal court, and requires the employer to pay the attorney fees if wage theft is proven.
Daniel Ross and the wage theft lawyers at Ross Law Group are leading lawyers enforcing overtime laws in Texas. If you think you are a victim of wage theft by your current or former employer, call us today for a free consultation and to get a copy of our Free Guide to Overtime Claims.
You can contact Daniel Ross at 512-474-7677 or online at rosslawpc.com.