When Houston area employees are shortchanged on overtime pay, or even on regular pay, they often benefit from the advice of an employment law attorney. Overtime and wage-hour claims are quite complex, and when someone is being underpaid for his or her work, there really is no room for error.

Unfortunately, there appears to be a spike in wage and hour violations in this country. Just this year, more than 7,000 lawsuits have been filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which covers wage and hour rights of employees.

In the latest fiscal year, the federal Department of Labor collected $224 million–breaking a record–in back wages from employers. Those back wages went to more than 275,000 workers.

Even though this seems like a very high amount of wage theft, there are actually many more cases than just those that the Department of Labor takes. The DOL tends to become involved in wage and hour claims to aid vulnerable workers–those who may be earning a low-wage, have limited English language skills or are otherwise unaware of their rights.

Many other Texas employees work with employment law attorneys to remedy their wage or overtime problems.

The rise in wage theft has been attributed to a number of things, including: a weak economy; confusion in regard to when employees need to be paid for overtime and when they may be classified as salaried workers; and high-profile wage cases that have allowed employees to become more aware of their rights.

Workers who think they have been shortchanged may benefit from talking to an experienced wage dispute lawyer. These injustices can often be corrected.

Source: MSNBC, “Growing number of workers complain about being shortchanged,” Eve Tahmincioglu, July 26, 2012