Wage theft is one of the most serious financial issues facing workers across America today, and can cost victims thousands of dollars per year. In New York alone, it is estimated that wage theft costs workers approximately $3 billion per year in lost income. But what exactly is wage theft, and how can you protect yourself against it?
Many people feel uncomfortable talking about their salary, especially with their other coworkers. They may think it is rude, or be afraid of retaliation from their boss for discussing that information. However, if you talk to your coworkers about how much you are paid, you could find some extremely useful information that you can use to your benefit. Here are just a few reasons you should speak to your coworkers about your salary?
The term “wage theft” is used to refer to any instance where an employer fails to give employees the wages they are owed. This hidden scourge is estimated to cost New Yorkers $3.2 billion every single year, with many of the victims being workers who make minimum wage, or close to minimum wage. Here are five of the most common forms of wage theft that employers commit against their employees:
On October 31, 2017, a law banning New York City employers from “(1) asking job applicants about their compensation history and (2) relying on a job applicant’s compensation history when making a job offer or negotiating an employment contract, unless freely volunteered by the applicant” took effect. Furthermore, the law also prohibits a potential employer from searching public records in order to obtain a person’s past salary history. A potential employer may only inquire about an applicant’s salary and or benefits expectations, but not history. However, if an applicant freely volunteers his or her past salary, an employer is entitled to verify the information. Continue reading “Employers Are Not Allowed To Ask About Past Employment Compensation”
Governor Cuomo will propose new legislation to tackle the issue of wage theft in New York. The legislation will ensure that employers cannot hide from paying hard working employees for the time they spend “on the clock.” Currently under the law, New York State is able to hold top officials from in-state Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), as well as those from corporations within and outside New York personally liable for unpaid wages to their employees.
Attorney Steven Mitchell Sack, “The Employee’s Lawyer,” says fast food workers in New York State do not make enough money and should be able to earn at least $15 an hour. This, he says, will mean not only increased employee morale but employee retention.
Many people who are fired forfeit valuable unemployment insurance benefits. This is because they do not know how to act or represent themselves properly at unemployment hearings. Many are told by unemployment personnel that a lawyer or other representative is not required and that preparation for the hearing is unnecessary. They then attend the hearing and are surprised to learn that the employer is represented by experienced counsel who has brought witnesses to testify against their version of the facts. Other people lose at the hearing because they do not know the purpose of their testimony or what they must prove to receive benefits.
For you to ensure you’re not one of the countless individuals that fall within this trap, it is crucial you get informed and know what is expected of you, and your rights.