Disney recently got itself into trouble by refusing to provide Disney World employees with costumes. Employees claimed fees from buying and maintaining the costumes pushed their pay below the federal minimum wage. The Department of Labor investigated and confirmed these allegations. Disney agreed to pay 16,339 workers $3.8 million in back wages. Employers cannot push these costs on employees if it pushes their pay below the minimum wage. Such instances of wage theft are not uncommon.
A major reason employers misclassify workers as independent contractors is so they do not have to purchase these items. They simply pass the costs on to misclassified employees. This is one of the most common forms of wage theft because employees may not be aware it is up to their employers to purchase these items.
How Can Employees Pursue Back Pay After Being Charged for Essential Job Items?
Employees who are affected by this type of wage theft may have several options to pursue back pay. However, it is important to keep a receipt of purchase for these items. Employees should keep pay stubs. Correspondence or employment contracts may also be useful for pursuing back pay. Paperwork can make or break a wage claim case, so it is important to hold onto as much potential evidence as possible.
Employees should also consider hiring an attorney. Many wage claims are rejected because people do not hire experienced legal representation. An attorney knows the most effective ways to use evidence during a California Labor Board or lawsuit.
The Los Angeles wage theft attorneys at Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. can help employees pursue options for back pay.