When workers’ wage rights aren’t respected

Given the critical role wages play in workers’ lives, one would hope businesses would stick to the rules when it comes to paying employees. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, companies commit wage violations against their employees. When workers suspect they have been the victim of this, one option they may have is to pursue legal action, such as a wage violation lawsuit.

A recent study looked at 1,200 wage violation claims against large U.S. companies. All of these lawsuits were successful, ending in either a settlement or a verdict. The cases were from 2000 to 2018. Overall, billions were paid out in these cases.

The study’s review of these lawsuits provides some insights on wage violation claims. Among the things the study points to are that:

  • Wage problems are not limited to certain industries: Over 500 large companies were involved in these lawsuits, coming from a wide range of industries. The types of workers these cases involved also varied greatly.
  • Overtime pay is a prevalent wage violation issue: Unpaid overtime was the top issue in the reviewed claims.
  • California sees a lot of wage violation cases: The bulk of the claims were from California. Some postulate that the state’s particularly strong labor laws are behind this.

Now of course, wage violations don’t just happen in big companies. They can happen to workers of all different sizes of businesses. When a worker, whatever company they work for, suspects their wage rights have been violated, they should promptly take steps to learn about their legal options.

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