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Where can I look for signs of wage theft?

There has been a lot of discussion and news about minimum wage changes recently. States across the U.S. have raised minimum wages while politicians butt heads over whether or not to increase the federal limit.

While minimum wage discussions are certainly important, there are more problems facing employees than not earning a living wage. For instance, there are some employees who have wages they have earned taken away from them by their employers. This is referred to wage theft, and it can be crucial for Florida workers to be aware of how to spot this serious violation of an employee's rights.

If you are in a job where you take home the same amount of money in your paycheck every week or two weeks, it can be easy to spot discrepancies. But many victims of wage theft do not have this steady number to rely on.

If you work in a position where you are tipped or paid hourly for shifts that change from week to week, errors in your paycheck may be easier to overlook. However, there are some places you can look to see if the numbers add up.

  • Your time cards: Approving your time cards can become so routine that you barely think twice about it. However, an employer could alter your time card or ask you to sign a blank card, assuring you that it will be filled in accurately later. Examining these time cards and making sure they reflect the hours you have worked can uncover potential deviations.
  • Overtime: Working overtime means non-exempt workers should earn one-and-a-half times their hourly wage. If this doesn't happen, it could be a sign of wage theft.
  • Tips: Stealing wages from tipped employees could be as simple as pulling the cash right out of their hand at the end of a shift. There are strict rules regarding tipped workers and compensation; employers who do not comply with these rules could be wrongfully taking money away from workers.

If you suspect your employer is wrongfully withholding wages from you, legal counsel can be crucial. Having an attorney by your side to assess the situation and file a lawsuit against non-compliant employers can prove to be a wise and financially-beneficial decision.

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