When Employers Use Wage Violations to Save Money

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Some businesses believe that providing a safe and comfortable workplace is too expensive or will hurt the bottom line. This can lead them to cut corners on safety, turn a blind eye to rampant discrimination, and even perpetuate a system of wage violations. Sadly, employers often make the critical mistake of thinking that cutting corners and violating employee rights will save them money. In most cases, the opposite is true. Here are just a couple common ways that employers try to save money by cheating workers out of their pay.

Overtime Violations

While clearly designed to save money, when an employer fails to pay an employee his or her rightfully earned overtime pay, this hurts everyone. The employee makes less, his or her family has less to contribute to the economy, and the employer now has a worker who feels cheated. A lot of employers will tell a worker that he or she is ‘exempt’ from overtime laws. In some cases this is true, but often the employer is just using an excuse to avoid paying a fair wage.

You Can Not Discuss Money

An alarming number of employers tell their employees that they cannot discuss their salaries or wages with each other. In fact, according to the National Labor Relations Act, about half of all workers are subject to so-called ‘pay secrecy’ policies. These policies have a couple purposes. First, they prevent employees from gathering and collectively bargaining (unionizing). Second, they help to perpetuate income inequality between genders, races, and other protected classes.

The Department of Labor offers a helpful fact sheet on pay secrecy that explains some of the finer points of this improper type of policy. Many states outlaw pay secrecy entirely, while others (such as Alabama) have no such state-level restrictions. Nevertheless, it is generally impermissible to restrict employees from discussing pay.

Poor Conditions Cost Businesses Money

While employers sometimes get creative about violating employees’ rights to save money, the fact remains that doing so is bad for workers and bad for business. According to research reported by the Harvard Business Review, when an employee has poor working conditions or is paid less than a living wage, that worker can easily become ‘disengaged.’ This means the employee no longer takes an active interest in the success and overall mission of the business. According to the research, disengaged employees are absent from work 37% more frequently than engaged workers. This costs businesses a lot of money each year.

Get Help with Your Employment Case Now

Employers usually have the resources to let their powerful attorneys and risk managers threaten you and convince you that you have no options. The fear of unemployment or financial destitution often causes people to simply live with a horrible work environment. While not every situation can be resolved, the hardest part can be figuring out your rights and knowing how to take action.

If you are the victim of a hostile work environment, or you have experienced wage or overtime violations, you deserve better. Do not try to deal with your employer alone. Let the skilled attorneys of 5 Points Law Group fight for your rights. You work hard for your money; let us work hard for you.

Allen Arnold
Allen Arnold
Allen has practiced in the field of employment litigation, almost exclusively representing employees, for his entire career.

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