If you are an hourly employee or a non-exempt salary employee, what you receive in each paycheck is a reflection of your time clock records. Your employer either pays you on an hourly basis or sometimes has to pay overtime wages if you put in extra hours.
Federal employment laws are very clear about the obligation to pay employees for their time spent performing their jobs. Many employees take for granted that their employers will pay them exactly what they should, based on when they work. However, the truth is that many businesses underpay their employees and do so on purpose.
You have to actively check to protect yourself from lost wages and unpaid overtime. How do you confirm that you received the pay you should?
Documentation is key to a wage claim
You need to retain your own documentation and then compare your records with your paychecks or electronic pay stubs. If you have a physical time clock system at the company where you work, you may be able to make a photocopy of each completed card before submitting it for payroll purposes. If the company uses a digital time clock system, you can take photos of when you clock in and out or screenshots of the app if you clock in remotely.
Those records will be a crucial part of any claim that you make. If you notice a discrepancy, you can bring it up with your employer and potentially get the money you deserve.
How do you prove wage theft?
Having access to the records your employer kept for payroll will probably be an important part of your claim. Your employer should keep at least the last 2 years’ worth of time clock records for you and every other employee.
You can then compare those records with your paycheck and with your independent documentation of when you started and ended each shift. Discrepancies may very well be the results of creative accounting or someone in management altering your time in and out of your shifts.
You can potentially bring a wage claim against your employer if they have changed time clock records to avoid paying the wages you have earned or have underpaid you. Keeping your own record and knowing your rights are both crucial if you want to pursue a wage claim.