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Employers frequently short workers on their pay

New York workers being shorted on their paychecks is a very common occurrence. A recent study of low-wage workers throughout the country concluded that 25 percent of the people received pay that did not equal minimum wage. Shortages sometimes reached as high as $1 per hour. On average, the incorrect paychecks were $51 a week less than they should have been. Although the problem is common among low-wage workers, people at all income levels experience pay shortages.

Because of the prevalence of underpayment, a worker who thinks that their paycheck seems low should question it. They should report the problem as soon as possible to a manager or human resources department. The employer should correct the error quickly and provide the missing funds no later than the next payday.

Best practices for workers who want to monitor their pay include keeping records of hours worked. People should be paid for all time spent on the job, including travel between job sites, cleanup activities and work preparations. Workers should understand that they likely deserve overtime pay at a rate 1.5 times their normal hourly rate for any hours worked beyond 40 hours in a seven-day period. A person suspicious of payroll methods could compare notes with co-workers. If their pay is being shorted, then a complaint to the U.S. Department of Labor might be appropriate.

A person could also approach an attorney to gain information about employment law. Legal counsel could evaluate the worker's job classification and explain how wage and hour laws should apply to the position. These insights could uncover wage violations. An attorney could take legal action to collect the missing pay or pursue a class-action lawsuit if the pay shortages are widespread at a large company.

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