Wage Theft is a term that is used to describe an employer who is stealing their employees’ wages.
There are several ways that this can happen some of the most common is failing to pay overtime properly, or even failing to overtime at all.
In restaurants, it can occur if an employer forces waiters and waitress to turn over their tips to the employer. In other industries employees who are misclassified as exempt but who are not exempt are also victims of wage theft because they are not getting the overtime pay that should be theirs.
How are labor law attorneys using this illegal action to scam employers?
Today many attorneys are advertising on Youtube, midnight TV, and the internet hoping that a recently terminated or disgruntled employee will see their ad and then give them a call on the phone or fill out a call to action to the attorneys’ website. If the attorney decides to take the case or to look further into the complaint of the employee the attorney will have the employee sign something similar to a power of attorney, the attorney then will send a letter to the current or ex-employer asking for all of the personnel records of the employee.
The employer must provide these records in a timely manner as required by law. The employees attorney will be sure to ask for all discipline records, including awards and commendations, along with all time cards going back up to three years.
Here is where the scamming aspect of this comes into play. The attorney knows that he/she is going to find something.
- Maybe the employer will not have the proper information required on the employees pay stub.
- Maybe there will be a day or two that the employers fail to pay the employee correctly.
- Perhaps the employee failed to get their rest and meal breaks.
It does not take much of anything for the ambulance chasing attorneys to hit pay dirt. Now here is where things really begin to get rotten in Denmark. Upon finding something or anything the attorney knows that employers will have to spend a minimum of $60,000.00 to defend this employee lawsuit. So this means that the attorney can choose to make some quick cash and work for the hour on this case and get anywhere from$6,000.00 to $12,000.00 for next to nothing. Why they can do this because the employer is going to have to defend themselves and attorneys are not cheap.
The employer is going to spend a minimum of $12,000.00 to $15,000.00 for almost anything. So the attorney who sends out the letter explains to the employer that we are going to have to go to court and you are going to have to get an attorney and defend yourself or you can pay $10,000.00 now and this will all disappear.
Keys to protecting your business against this kind fo scam.
- Make sure that you are not in any way practicing wage theft.
- Have a current employee handbook that has been reviewed by a California Labor Law Attorney or Human Resources Consultant
- Make sure that you are working with a great Cal-OSHA Consulting Firm
- Make sure that you have listed all of the necessary information on the employees pay stub.
- When you terminate an employee let them get their unemployment insurance.
CES Today has been helping employers deal with these kinds of issues and more since 1997. We can help you, so check us out Today!
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