A employees’ information to wage theft: What to do in case your boss steals your wages in Pa.

Wage theft covers a variety of offenses that relate to employers not paying their employees the cash they’re owed or taking cash away from them.Learn extraCynthia Greer

Wage theft is frequent in low-wage industries in Pennsylvania.

Tens of hundreds of employees — in eating places, nail salons, warehouses, farms, automotive washes and different industries— lose out on millions of dollars in stolen wages each year.

Wage theft occurs when employers intentionally pay employees under the minimal wage, deny them meal or relaxation breaks, fail to pay time beyond regulation premiums, or interact in different practices to cheat them out of pay.

So what do you have to do if you end up on this scenario?

Key takeaways


Wage theft is unlawful. Beneath the regulation:

  • You should receives a commission commonly, on-time and precisely what you are owed.
  • You should receives a commission for each hour that you simply work.
  • Your employer is allowed to pay you in money however ought to provide you with a paystub each time — itemizing the hours you labored, price of pay, complete pay, and any deductions (like taxes).
  • Your employer can not deduct cash out of your paycheck for damaged tools or supplies.
  • You should receives a commission on your final weeks of labor, even in case you give up or have been fired.

In case your employer does not abide by any certainly one of these guidelines, then they might have dedicated wage theft — and you may report it and get the cash you are owed.

Wage theft covers a variety of offenses that relate to employers not paying their employees the cash they’re owed or taking cash away from them, in response to Rhiannon DiClemente, certainly one of Community Legal Services’ employees attorneys for the employment unit.

Wage theft can appear like:

  • Failing to pay somebody for all the hours they labored. It may be so simple as your paycheck not being what you’re owed, or conditions like being requested to work by way of an unpaid lunch break or to remain later at work with out being paid for it.

  • Failing to pay Pennsylvania’s minimal wage, which is $7.25 per hour. When you calculate the full amount of cash you earn per hour, and it’s lower than $7.25, you might be being subjected to wage theft.

  • Failing to pay time beyond regulation pay (1.5 occasions the common pay price) when somebody works greater than 40 hours in a piece week. Typically employers will decrease your common pay price to scale back the amount of cash they owe you in time beyond regulation wages.

  • Unlawful deductions from pay. There are particular permissible deductions underneath state law that typically must have a employee’s written authorization, and the deductions have to learn the employee to ensure that them to be authorized.

What if I haven’t got citizenship?

It does not matter. You’ll be able to nonetheless file a wage theft grievance on the native, state and federal ranges. Every company offers companies in a wide range of languages too. Your immigration standing shouldn’t be related to wage theft investigations, that means investigators won’t look into your citizenship when resolving wage theft circumstances.

Doc every part. If and when it is advisable advocate for your self within the eyes of the regulation, you need to have a file of every part to show your case.

Right here’s what it is best to do:

  • Have a file of the dates and hours you labored, together with while you began and stopped working.

  • Save copies of all communication along with your employer together with however not restricted to texts, emails or written agreements.

  • Begin compiling your pay stubs or documenting every time you’ve been paid in case you work for money or underneath the desk.

  • Confirm the total title, telephone quantity and addresses of your employer (Typically employers function companies underneath completely different names or it’s not straightforward to confirm who owns the enterprise).

You’ll be able to file wage theft complaints with the native, state or federal authorities — relying on the circumstances. For instance, the U.S. Division of Labor wouldn’t examine wage theft complaints that occurred on a neighborhood stage by a small enterprise — that may fall underneath Philadelphia’s Division of Labor.

Contact a free authorized help group (listed under) or a lawyer that can assist you work out the very best place to file your wage theft grievance.

Authorized assets

Community Legal Services

  • Cellphone consumption: 215-981-3700 (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • Stroll-ins: Out there in Heart Metropolis at 1424 Chestnut St. on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and North Philadelphia at 1410 W. Erie Ave. on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Philadelphia Legal Assistance

You’ll be able to file a grievance with the town’s labor division by electronic mail or telephone. However your grievance has to fulfill sure necessities earlier than you do. The necessities are:

  • Grievance have to be filed inside three years of the alleged wage theft.

  • Whole quantity of wages misplaced must be greater than $100 and fewer than $10,000 (even in case you’re owed greater than $10,000, you may solely declare as much as that a lot).

When you meet these necessities, then obtain, fill out and electronic mail this form it to wagetheft@phila.gov. You may as well name 215-686-0802 to file a grievance or request help. All this information can be found in different languages online.

You’ll be able to file a grievance with the state’s labor division on-line or by mail. Nonetheless, the wage theft has to have occurred inside the final three years. File a complaint online using this form or download and fill out this form. Mail it to: Bureau of Labor Legislation Compliance, 1301 Labor and Business Constructing, 651 Boas Avenue Harrisburg, PA 17121.

On the federal stage, you will get the method began by telephone, in-person or on-line. The wage theft has to have occurred inside the final two to a few years. It’s additionally not so simple as filling out a kind and sending it in just like the others — you’ll want to speak with Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigators earlier than the grievance is filed.

The federal labor division offers with massive employers. This consists of companies concerned in interstate commerce, authorities or public companies and employers that make greater than $500,000 per 12 months in gross sales.

Name 1-866-487-9243, fill out a contact form online or visit their nearest office to get began.

The Division of Labor (that you simply filed the grievance with) will evaluate proof and determine if an investigation is required. Investigators will meet along with your employer, interview workers and evaluate employer information.

If violations are discovered within the employer’s insurance policies, they might want to right them. If any again wages are owed, investigators will request the employer to pay again workers.

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