It’s been called the crime hardly anyone talks about, and it’s hurting countless workers across America. According to the Economic Policy Institute, more than 2 million people have lost approximately $8 billion in yearly income from wage theft at the hands of employers.
While wage theft is illegal in Texas, not all businesses comply with federal and state requirements, as some may think breaking the rules is cheaper than following them.
Victims are typically lower on the pay scale
The biggest victims of wage theft are often minimum wage workers, including dishwashers, cashiers and personal home care aides. As the minimum wage in Texas is $7.25, such negligent actions can push these workers farther down the poverty line. Sadly, when this happens, it can make it more difficult for them to provide for themselves and their families. Due to their financial hardship, they may have to rely on government assistance programs to scrape by, which often ends up putting a significant burden on taxpayers.
Methods some employers use to take from workers
Here are a few ways some employers may be illegally reducing their workers’ annual income:
- Forcing employees to work “off of the books.”
- Forcing employees to perform duties after they’ve clocked out.
- Stealing tips from service employees.
- Illegally deducting money from workers’ paychecks.
- Forcing employees to work through mandatory screening processes.
Workers deserve fair compensation
People who work in low-wage jobs often put in more hours and sweat equity than anyone else. When they face unfair wage practices at the hands of their employers, everyone pays the price.