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Alarming Trend: More Workers Than Ever Claiming Unfair Pay Practices

February 3, 2016 Wage Theft & Unpaid Wages

Statistics shows that wage and hour lawsuits have risen by 30% since 2011

How closely do you look at your pay stub?

Here’s some incentive to inspect each and every line: New research shows that minimum wage and overtime complaints are on the rise.

Numbers from PACER, which is the electronic public access service of the federal court system, show that lawsuits alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) totaled 8,954 in 2015. That’s nearly 900 more cases from the previous year.

But that’s not all. FLSA cases have jumped a whopping 30% since 2011.

With statistics like these, it’s clear that workers are becoming increasingly concerned that they aren’t bringing home their fair share of earned wages.

That’s why it’s important to ensure that you know what you’re entitled to under the law.

Is Your Paycheck At Risk?

As we reported last year, wage theft – or, the failure of employers to adequately and lawfully compensate employees – is a widespread problem. In Pennsylvania alone, workers whose employers don’t comply with the law are shorted up to $32 million per year according to researchers at Temple University.

Unfortunately, lower-income workers are often most at risk, as employers may assume that they are less-familiar with their rights to fair compensation.

Here are some things to look out for if you suspect that your employer might be shortchanging you:

  • Your hourly compensation falls below the state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
  • You’re classified as a non-exempt employee and you aren’t paid overtime for hours worked over the 40-hour limit.
  • Your employer has told you that you’re not eligible for overtime (that is, you’re classified as exempt), yet your duties differ little from other workers who receive overtime.
  • Your pay stub includes confusing or excessive pay deductions, such as deductions for breaks of less than 20 minutes, charges for supplies needed to do the job, or charges for alleged theft or property damage.
  • You are required to begin work before or after clocking out.
  • You aren’t paid for all the hours you worked during a pay period.
  • Your employer delays or withholds your pay.

What Employees Need to Know

Keep in mind that unscrupulous employers that intentionally deprive workers of their earned wages are very likely to offer intentionally misleading explanations for paychecks that don’t add up. Don’t rely on confusing answers from your employer to justify a short paycheck.

Both federal and state law offer protection from unlawful compensation practices. If you believe that you’ve been the victim of wage theft, it’s a good idea to speak to an attorney to find out about your rights.

Email us at or call (267) 273-1054 for a free consultation.