Factory work has a reputation for being a kind of employment wherein someone with a good work ethic can command a living wage and get decent benefits. Overtime potential is also a benefit for many people who like to earn as much as possible.
However, not all companies that have manufacturing facilities treat their employees with dignity and respect. In fact, some of them don’t even follow basic employment laws. Thankfully, there are ways to enforce workers’ rights that are protected by law. For example, workers who haven’t received appropriate compensation for their labor from their employers can potentially file wage claims to get what they are due.
Here are some of the ways that businesses unfairly take advantage of manufacturing workers that may signal a need for employees to take action.
They demand off-the-clock work
Do you have to set up your station at work before you begin your shift or stay after clocking out to do clean-up work and paperwork? Employers often trick their workers into thinking that working while off the clock is legal, but it is a violation of someone’s pay rights.
They offer low salaries and refuse to pay overtime wages
One of the ways that companies deprive workers of overtime pay involves classifying them as exempt workers. Many employees do not understand the nuance involved in receiving salary compensation. But if you’re not getting paid for overtime as an hourly worker, something is almost certainly wrong.
Although workers at every income level may potentially be entitled to overtime compensation, most workers technically have a right to overtime wages (practically as a matter of course) if their weekly pay is less than $684 or their salary is under $35,568 per year.
They alter payroll records
Employers sometimes go back into official time clock records and adjust them ever so slightly. They may do this occasionally when one worker gets overtime that they don’t want to pay or frequently to reduce overtime wages to all employees.
Some companies do this consistently with a rounding policy, by which they pay workers in increments and claim to round to the nearest increment. However, they only ever round down, thereby decreasing what workers receive, instead of applying the rule of appropriately and also rounding up when necessary.
If you have come to learn that your employer has unfairly deprived you of your wages in the past, you may have grounds to take legal action against the company. Also, keep in mind that learning more about wage claims and how businesses might engage in wage theft can help employees better assert their rights when they’ve been violated.