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Could you be the victim of wage theft?

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Each day residents of the Philadelphia area get up and go to their jobs. While some do so by choice, others must work so that they can pay for things needed in day-to-day life. In either situation, it is important that they are paid all that they are owed. Unfortunately, according to a report recently issued by Temple University’s Sheller Center for Social Justice, Pennsylvania workers are being shortchanged by their employers.

According to the report–“Shortchanged: How Wage Theft Harms Pennsylvania’s Workers and Economy”—every week, between $19 million and $32 million is stolen from workers, by employers in the state. This theft occurs via multiple methods, including:

  • Minimum-wage violations
  • Unpaid overtime
  • Stolen tips
  • Illegal pay deductions

The problem often impacts low-wage workers and is not limited to a specific industry. In the counties of Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware and Chester, each week it is estimated that a minimum wage violation affects 128,576. Overtime violations impact an estimated 105,458 each week. Over a period of time, the theft can deprive workers of a sizable chunk of their own money.

Actions that deprive employees of wages they earned are illegal. This is true regardless of the violation or whether it is done on purpose or by accident. Fortunately, it is possible for employees to recover the wages they are owed. The process can be complicated however requiring the assistance of an employment lawyer.

Individuals who think that they might be the victim of wage theft should contact an attorney sooner rather than later. This is because there is a short window of time in which such a claim can be filed.