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How to spot wage theft in Texas

Texas and federal labor laws say that employers must pay all employees the proper compensation for the time they work. Sadly, some unscrupulous employers violate workers’ rights. Here are some tricky ways an employer might take advantage of you.

What is wage theft?

Wage theft occurs when an employer gives you a job where you agree on the type of work you will be doing, hours to put in, when to take breaks and your appropriate compensation, and then the employer violates one or more of these terms. In other words, they don’t live up to or follow your contractual or employment agreement.

Common forms of wage theft in Texas

  • Not paying overtime – One of the most common forms of wage theft is paying less or nothing at all for overtime. Some employers trick their employees by giving them comp time instead of paying for extra hours worked, which is illegal in Texas. If you have been a victim, you need to file overtime compensation claims within 180 days of the due date for the payment.
  • Misclassification of an employee – There are instances where an employer will intentionally misclassify your job to pay you less or avoid paying taxes, insurance and other benefits that they should. For instance, they can categorize you as an independent contractor rather than a normal employee.
  • Illegal deductions – An employer can add multiple deductions to your gross salary, leaving you with a small net wage. You must understand every deduction on your pay slip.

If you feel like your employer is not compensating you adequately for the work you put in, you may choose to file a wage theft claim with Texas courts. Anyone can file for a wage theft claim regardless of whether they are paid in cash, by check or with immigrant status.