Red Flags for Wage Claims

Common red flags that an employer may be failing to properly compensate its employees include:

  • Working off-the-clock
  • Labeling workers as "independent contractors" when they are really employees
  • Failing to include bonuses, commissions and/or incentive pay in employees’ overtime rates
  • Failing to pay bonuses or commissions
  • Failing to pay overtime, bonuses and/or commissions based on hours worked during the period in which the compensation was earned.
  • Being paid a flat salary regardless of the hours worked
  • Failing to pay for on-call time
  • Being paid a “bonus” or given “comp time” in lieu of overtime pay
  • Paying employees at their hourly rate for overtime hours
  • Failing to pay minimum wage
  • Misclassifying employees as exempt when their job duties do not justify such classification, such as not being paid a minimum of $455 dollars per week, not exercising “independent discretion and judgment” in their job, not having true supervisory authority, etc.
  • Failing to pay for breaks
  • Failing to pay for meal periods when employees are not fully relieved from their duties or when they miss their meal periods
  • Requiring that overtime be "pre-approved" before compensating for overtime hours worked
  • Not paying employees for all time actually worked, including time it takes to prepare for work such as putting on special clothing, cleaning and sanitizing tools or other work items, certain travel/walking time, filling out preliminary paper work
  • Requiring employees to clock out even though they work beyond that time
  • Not paying an employee for time spent traveling between two different job sites or customer locations
  • Requiring employees to take work home to complete and not compensating them for such time
  • Making improper deductions for damaged/lost property, fuel, vehicle maintenance, uniforms, cell phones, processing paperwork, etc.
  • Tip-pooling
  • Vacation/PTO forfeiture
  • Making partial day deductions to salaried employees pay
  • Making time sheet alterations
  • Requiring that employees record set hours worked when they actually work more hours
  • Time clock systems that automatically clock employees out for lunch
  • Being compensated by shift start and end times versus hours actually worked
  • Hiring illegal immigrants

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