When you consider the most common form of theft, you may think of a whole range of activities, from grand theft auto to home invasions and burglaries. You may also think of different types of financial crime, such as a small business being victimized by theft.
It is certainly true that these things happen, but none of them are the biggest type of theft in the United States. That “honor” goes to wage theft, which outpaces all of these other issues significantly. The financial impact on workers in the U.S. cannot be understated. Some estimates put it around $15 billion annually.
How does wage theft happen?
There are a lot of different ways for wage theft to happen. In some cases, workers are not given a final check after they quit or have their position terminated, even though they are due. In other cases, workers are just paid their standard rate instead of being paid time-and-a-half for working overtime. In still other cases, employers may take tips that were supposed to go directly to the employees.
All these things work together to make wage theft a very significant issue. It doesn’t get more attention because it is spread out over so many workers. But if everyone loses a small amount of money, it adds up quickly. You don’t get to $15 billion every year without a significant amount of loss from workers who are not being properly compensated for their time.
If you believe that you have been victimized by wage theft in any way, take the time to carefully consider all of your legal options.