Whether deliberate or accidental, many employers fail to pay their employees the accurate amount they are owed for their hard work. In fact, some studies conclude that billions of dollars in potential earnings every year are not properly distributed to workers’ paychecks. In this two-part article, a Tampa wage and hour attorney will discuss six ways that employers fail to properly compensate employees.
1) Misclassified Employees
There are many ways that an employer can violate wage and hour laws including misclassifying these workers. In reality, many employers want the perks of having a full-time staff member, but they would prefer not to pay taxes, insurance coverage, overtime pay, and additional expenses and benefits for the worker. Here are a few ways that employers violate various employment laws depending on the way they classify a worker:
- Internships: Many internships simply do not benefit the intern’s career opportunities or provide them with the experience they need to establish a career in a certain field. In reality, the internship is a way for an employer to avoid paying minimum wage by having an unpaid worker perform these necessary tasks around the office.
- Independent Contractors: Similarly, many employers prefer to classify their workforce as “freelancers,” but the expectation of these workers is to work fulltime. The employer would prefer not to pay overtime or additional expenses, but they often misclassify the worker in the process.
- Managers: Not all promotions guarantee that you’ll be earning more money. In fact, many employers classify employees as a manager to move them over from hourly to salaried employment status. The employee may not even realize they are giving up overtime pay. The end result is that they work extra time and earn less than before their promotion. If you don’t have workers that you supervise directly (including the ability to promote, demote, or impact their employment status), chances are your employer has misclassified your employment status.
2) Their Paycheck is Deducted
In the restaurant industry, it’s not entirely uncommon that certain “work mistakes” result in the worker having to pony up additional compensation. For example, if a patron walks out on their check without paying or a server drops a tray full of plates and glasses, the employer may require the server to pay money back for those losses. Although there are some legal reasons why an employee can have their paychecks docked, if an employer deducts earnings without the knowledge or consent of their employees, this is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
3) They’re Owed Additional Expenses
Similarly, some jobs require that the employee spends additional compensation in order to perform the main tasks of their position. For example, salespeople are often required to drive several hours a day in their personal vehicles. Expenses like these should be reimbursed by the employer; however, many employers fail to pay.
For more potential violations of wage and hour laws, read the second part of this article.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.