The US minimum wage gives employees the right to earn a certain amount of money to be able to live humanely. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, 141,000 Texas workers earned less than minimum wage. Although many people don’t think that the minimum wage is livable, employers still commit wage theft every day, meaning hard workers earn even less than the minimum mandate.
Current efforts in states across the country are trying to accomplish wage increases. As minimum wage laws change, it is important to keep track of paychecks to make sure employers are keeping up with the laws. Currently, Texas’ minimum wage is the federal minimum standard of $7.25 per hr., but increases in the number of jobs and the cost of living in many Texas cities is causing Texas politicians to discuss increasing it. Once your local or state government increases the wage, it overrides the federal minimum.
How Do Employers Commit Wage Theft?
- Wage garnishment: Employers have been reported deducting money off paychecks for job-related supplies or equipment repairs. These deductions are illegal.
- Shaving off hours: This is when an employer modifies the hours you worked on your timesheet to avoid paying you overtime, or money they owe you in general.
- Offering time off instead of overtime pay: Right now, this is not legal. However, current legislation may be passed that would allow it soon.
- Employee misclassification: By misclassifying employees as independent contractors, employers can avoid paying employees overtime and minimum wages in some cases. A Dallas wage and overtime attorney can help you find out if you have been misclassified.
- Tipped employees: Tipped employees need to be paid at least $2.13 per hour. If your wage plus the tips you get in a week doesn’t add up to at least $7.25 per hour, your employer is committing wage theft.