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by their employer to pay their portion of the health insurance costs, only to find out later that what was being withdrawn was a higher amount than the insurance actually cost.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.