Employers who find ways to cheat their employees out of money are breaking labor laws by committing wage theft. Lawsuits are filed against companies over wage theft every year. By observing the details in some of these lawsuits, we can get a better idea of how employers are trying to rip off their workers.
- Last year, Google, Apple, Intel, Intuit, and Adobe settled a $3 billion lawsuit for poaching jobs. According to the lawsuit, employers would sue employees who were attempting to switch to higher paying jobs at other companies. By using litigation against employees switching companies, some in the tech industry were allegedly able to steal wages because it was impossible for employees to quit without being sued.
- Wage theft against poorer employees may be easier to spot. Early last year, McDonald’s workers filed several class-action lawsuits in New York, California and Michigan, alleging the fast food company had forced employees to work off the clock without overtime pay. Employers breaking the law also skim money off of paychecks, as was the case with a recent $500,000 settlement involving Papa John’s.
- In some circumstances, unpaid interns have been able to secure damages against employers for wage theft. Unpaid interns with jobs that fall under certain criteria listed in the Fair Labor Standards Act must be paid for their services.
How Employees Can Fight Against Wage Theft Schemes
Employees affected by wage theft schemes may have options for taking action. The Wage Theft Protection Act in California gives workers experiencing wage theft legal options. People can file reports with the California Department of Industrial Relations if they suspect their bosses are stealing wages. In addition, workers may be able to file employment lawsuits against their employers.