You got your dream job, or you found a job that you think pays a fair wage. However, you started working and realized that you might not have been paid everything that you are owed. Perhaps you’ve started your career as a social worker and you were soon disappointed after encountering endless problems in your day-to-day activities. Because of this, you need to be on the lookout for the eight red flags listed below that show you might be owed unpaid wages.
1. You aren’t tracking your time
If you have not been tracking your time, your employee is likely guessing. This is especially important if you are a contractor and work more than what you agreed to. The bookkeeper who reconciles payroll will assign you 20 hours, 40 hours, or whatever they think is correct.
If you are tracking your time, you will realize that sometimes your paychecks are a little bit off.
2. You’re working overtime
If you have been working overtime, you need to make sure your paychecks reflect your overtime. This goes hand-in-hand with tracking your time. Your paycheck should see a significant boost if you have some overtime hours on it.
3. You’re Working Before Clock In and After You Clock Out
If you are working before and after you hit the clock because your employer asked you to, you need to start clocking in. You should also calculate how much you worked outside of the clock and request reimbursement.
4. You Have to Clock Out for Every Break
You are supposed to receive a 30-minute meal break within the first five hours of your shift. If you work up to ten hours, you get another 30-minute break.
You also get rest breaks every four hours. If your employer forces you to clock out for these breaks, you are owed unpaid wages. In a more sinister scenario, your employer might require you to take a break just to go to the bathroom or take a medication that you need to remain healthy.
5. You’re On-Call During Your Breaks
If you are on-call during your breaks, you are not on break. Period. You should be paid for your on-call time, and you might even be owed overtime if these hours take you over the 40-hour threshold.
6. You’ve Been Misclassified as Exempt or a Contractor
If you have been misclassified as a contractor or exempt employee, you may be owed overtime. This is why it is important to track your hours appropriately and speak to an employment lawyer if you believe you have been mistreated.
7. You Aren’t Being Paid Commissions Properly
If you are supposed to make commission on each sale, you should see that money in your paycheck. Track your commissions on your own so that you know if they have been paid properly.
8. Your Bonuses Are Being Withheld
You may have been promised bonuses in your contract, and they should be included in specific paychecks. Track your paychecks and bonus periods to ensure you have been paid properly.
What Can You Do?
You should reach out to an employment lawyer when you need assistance with your pay because you have not been paid properly, misclassified, or denied wages to which you are entitled.