What is Wage Theft, and Are You a Victim?


Wage theft commonly refers to workers illegally not being paid their full wages.  Usually this refers to low-wage workers who are denied full pay for a variety of reasons.  Some of these include:  refusing to pay the legal minimum per hour wage, not paying for all hours worked and/or not paying over-time pay.  This is a wide-spread problem, and costs the workers in the U.S. approximately $8 billion per year.  Obviously, this is another social issue that effects the poor more than others, since earning a minimum wage is not really a sustainable wage.  To steal from people like this is particularly nasty.


However, there is another kind of wage theft that also happens.  Frequently people are told that their health insurance costs a certain amount and that amount is withheld from their paychecks by their employer to pay their portion of the health insurance costs, only to find out later that what was being withdrawn was a higher amount than the insurance actually cost.  This is particularly hard to prove, since (at least in my state) the insurance company will decline to tell you how much your employer-offered health insurance actually costs.

Another type of wage theft is when a “salaried” employee routinely works many hours of overtime, but is not paid because they are considered “salaried”.  The usual answer for not paying salaried workers is that they will be “given” the same number of hours as extra time off.  However, trying to receive any of that promised time off is difficult, to say the least.


This whole concept is particularly evil, since you have a right to be paid for the work that you do, and you should have the right to find out exactly how much your own health insurance costs.  Has any of this happened to you or to anyone you know?  If so, let me know in the comments below.  I’ve included some links below that give you more information regarding this issue.





2 thoughts on “What is Wage Theft, and Are You a Victim?

  1. I learn about the structures of economies through various channels of open-ended media. This is actually something John Oliver covered in a segment of his show some time back.
    What we need to bear in mind is the superstructure of capitalism that makes moots worker’s rights through the acquisition of assets and profit-gains.
    This is designed to create an overall disparate gap between earners-spenders-and lenders, with the the latter two compromising most of the binded middle-class.

    Those who earn minimum wages are subject to exploitation by rationale of neoliberal capitalist markets treating them as property in-and-of themselves, liable to siphoning off when they are deemed “surplus to requirements”. In South Africa we have trade unions that have a bigger impact on economic policy due to the overwhelming number of the population living in relative deprivation.
    However, because neoliberal capitalism is a global force it seems almost futile to charge against it. Yet, expose we must-for justice, and equality.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s