Wage theft occurs when employers pay workers less than the minimum wage, don't pay time-and-a-half for overtime hours, cheat on the number of hours worked, steal tips or don't pay workers at all. Workers often suffer wage theft in silence for fear of losing their jobs. Other forms of wage law violations include illegal paycheck deductions and the late payment, or non-payment, of a worker’s final paycheck.
Workers can and should pursue these claims. If an employer has stolen your wages, you are likely not the first or last employee this has happened to. An employer who makes a practice of wage theft will likely continue that practice unless it faces consequences. Workers who bring a wage claim against their employer, or who discuss a wage claim with an attorney, have legal protection from retaliation by their employer. If you believe your wages have been stolen, you should contact a lawyer immediately.