It is important to pay your employees everything owed to them. While a lack of pay must be intentional to qualify as wage theft, it helps to avoid mistakes as much as you can.
There are many different ways that wage theft can play out. Some states and cities have stricter policies than others. Also, some employees may have different rights depending on how you pay them. Understanding local and federal laws can help you steer clear of difficulties.
When you hire someone, you make an agreement with him or her about compensation. You and your employee will likely sign a contract to verify the agreement. You must follow through with the assured payment amount to secure trust with your staff.
There may be cases where you request that employees do extra tasks that you will not pay them for. A common example of this is asking a staff member to work off the clock. While this type of situation can come from a simple misunderstanding, you should be careful not to ask your employees to work for free.
Minimum wage and overtime
You must pay your employees the federal minimum wage. Depending on the circumstance, you might also have to pay 50 percent extra for overtime work. Understanding what policies apply to you and abiding by them can keep you out of trouble.
Courts can treat wage theft as a white-collar crime. This scenario is more likely if you have poor relations with your staff. Establishing confidence within the workforce and respecting workers’ rights can help you avoid issues down the line.